I wonder if many got the real gospel

Hello,

just typing in to say that I found this site.

I think it is very sad, many of the experiences people have had. Yet, after reading testimonies, I wonder if many got the real gospel...the real good news...or just got a bunch of man-made tradition and hypocrisy, which is quite easy to reject. And which, I cannot blame them for rejecting.

Email:jrprentice11@yahoo.com

203 comments:

1 – 200 of 203   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Don't worry bro, we were not turned off by "man-made tradition or hypocracy".

Most of us have read the Bible itself (including the Gospels) and see it for what it is: fairy tales, rediculous guidelines to live by (women should cover their hair - although strangely enough most Christians don't uphold this rule), and disturbing stories of a vengful hatefull god.

You are not the first person, and most certainly, will not be the last person to tell us that we obviously didn't hear the "true good news" or "we were never saved in the first place".

Note the name of the website "EXchristians". We have all been there, heard that.
But, unlike the vast majority of Christians, we do not feel threatened by people with opposing views. We are quite open to other lines of thought. But please, when coming to us with a "new idea", please, be sure it's a new idea.

Anonymous said...

Please excuse my misspellings on the previous post. That was my first post and I forgot to do a spell check.

Anonymous said...

That post was, to me, the pinnacle of fundy condescension.

"You didn't hear the © 2005, 100% Real Gospel, that's why you turned away from God."

In other words, I wasn't a member of your church or your little subsect of Christianity and that's why I chose non-belief. I'm surprised that jrprentice didn't pull the old, "You never believed in the first place" bullshit too since the arguments seem to go hand in hand.

I'm not sure why it's so unfathomable to some Christians that a small number of people are capable of thinking for themselves and don't need to be led around by the shorthairs by their religion.

To you, and all the Christians like you, FOAD.

Anonymous said...

The real gospel is finally here!! Oh thank goodness, we no longer have to accept all the garbage that has come out of the mouths of thousands of preachers and theologians since the year 100! Praise be to the Highest, Joe Christian has come with the right gospel!!

Praise Batman!

Anonymous said...

Any one who ever really read the "good book" - and I mean gave it the attention that they pay the comic section of the daily newspaper - would never try to rub that "You just weren't exposed to the real deal" BS in our faces.

jose said it best. FOAD

Anonymous said...

Hello,

just typing in to say that I may have stumbled into a hornets nest.

I think it is very sad, many of the bad educational experiences people have had. Yet, after reading many a fundi’s blather, I wonder if many got the real science...the real good news...that we are the pinnacle of a process called natural selection, or just got a bunch of angry-man “I’m angry with god!” nonsense, which is quite easy to reject. And for which, I cannot blame them for rejecting reality.

Email:anti-jrprentice11@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

" I wonder if many got the real gospel...the real good news...or just got a bunch of man-made tradition and hypocrisy, which is quite easy to "

Isn't your biblical canon a church tradition?

How do you know that protestant canon is correct one?

Read the history of the biblical canon and you will see the words "man-made tradition" written all over it

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the "you didn't go to a Real True Christian Church (TM) excuse. Most of us have tried many different flavors of religion. We did not simply "give up" on it. We recognized the myth for what it was, a myth.

If you didn't like fruitcake and people kept shoving pieces of fruitcake down your throat, even though you told them that you didn't like fruitcake, wouldn't you be annoyed? This is how it is to us whenever people say "try my brand of Christianity, mine is better!" Yeah...right.

It's all just a cult of fruitcake with slightly different flavors to appeal to different people.

Anonymous said...

You're half right, JR. Most of us "just got a bunch of man-made tradition and hypocrisy." The problem is, we got it it straight from the Bible. That's all there is in it.

Anonymous said...

I think it is very sad, many of the experiences people have had. Yet, after reading testimonies, I wonder if many got the real gospel...the real good news...or just got a bunch of man-made tradition and hypocrisy, which is quite easy to reject. And which, I cannot blame them for rejecting.

You are kidding right? I would say most of the people here got 'the real gospel." I know I sure did. My dad was on the church board, and I heard all of the real dirt on the "real" christians.

BTW, when I was younger I read the bible through three times, cover to cover. Isn't the "real' gospel supposed to be in there somewhere?

The question to you is, have you actually LOOKED for truth? Have you been honest with yourself about those doubts you have. (and I know you do buddy)

You have taken a good first step. Your REAL self caused you to come visit. Your sub-conscious is telling you something. Listen to that still small voice that is called REASON. If you do, maybe soon you can find the freedom I have experienced.

Hey check out my new Blog:
http://onanite.blogspot.com/

OR

email me at onanite@gay.com.

Anonymous said...

Dear Oatpaste,
Yes, I'm afraid you do seem to have stumbled into a bit of a hornet's nest. I'm sorry to say that you are now about to be jumped on by a large number of people who will see your post as condescension.

As an atheist (who was lucky enough never to be a Christian) let me explain that the best thing you can do is retreat gracefully, unless you want to turn this into a full on debate, in which case your polite attitude will be of great use to you, provided you also have a strong, well-researched case to make.

Thanks for the interest!

Anonymous said...

It's funny to read all the above posts. Just don't get too mean. :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear a well reasoned and researched case for a SuperNatural god... if that's possible in this Natural reality...

Anonymous said...

I hear ya. I would too.

Anonymous said...

jr. is just a little boy that replaced Santa with Jesus and has never grew up, even if he's 75 yrs. old, he still has to hold on to his childhood myth to get thim through the day, just another typical brainwashed fundy.

Anonymous said...

Interested Atheist

Either my level of sarcasm is too subtle for you, or yours for me.

You do realize oatpaste is an Anagram, no?

Anonymous said...

Amethyst,

I love the fruitcake analogy.

Pass the Kool-aid. I need a chaser!

Anonymous said...

Mary had a little Lamb..blah..blah..blah, jr. is still sucking on his toes.

oatpaste, please enlighten us on that brilliant anagram you've so cleverly devised...thanks

Anonymous said...

Joe,

Brilliant? No. I used an anagram generator to get it. (Wish I was clever enough to get this on my own) I wanted a screen name that was memorable and expressed something about myself.

Apostate <->OatPaste <-> ApeToast

P.S. Morons! I am NOT the original poster!

Open your f!*^&#@ eyes and read!
Honestly. We want to convince Jr. that we are at the minimum, intelligent people. Do you often find yourselves bewildered by the Simpsons? Do I have to spell things out for you, or are you capable of independent thought.

Anonymous said...

Here's the funniest part: most Christians don't have the FIRST CLUE what the REAL good news is. If you study the bible and its history, you'll know that the "good news" is that the Israelites are once more favored by God and have a patron saint in Jesus. Not that Jesus died for sins, all that crap that got made up along the way. Israel fell out of favor with God, which was why they were under Roman rule, and thought Jesus was the Messiah who was going to bestow God's good graces on them again and help them conquer the Romans and rule the world. Not that it happened.

So, jrprentice, have YOU heard the good news?

Anonymous said...

Mary had a little Lamb..blah..blah..blah, Joe is still sucking on his foot. (You see, he didn’t know what he was talking about. He opened his metaphorical mouth and . . . eh, I hope that’s enough explanation. I do however, seem to need supply an inordinate amount of that . . . I digress)

So Joe, didja git yerself ahold a one of them there dictionaries.
Seriously, I’m sure you know what an apostate is. - God I HOPE SO! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oatpaste, Your writing style and word choices remind me of another pompous narcissist named Paul Manata. Maybe you are him! Whatever the case you are still a pompous ass.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean to you to "get" the "real gospel?" What exactly IS the "real gospel" to you? Are you saying that a christian may not "get" the real gospel? Does that mean a christian is not "saved," if they do not "get" the real gospel? If a person "gets" the gospel, then will they move mountains as Christ said a person should be able to do with enough faith? How come nobody has ever moved a mountain?

Do you "get" the "real gospel?" What does it mean to you that Christ said "Whosever keepeth my saying shall never see death," according to the gospel?

What is "the real good news," according to you? Is it "Jesus died for you. Accept him and you're 'saved?'" That is the same nonsense that I do NOT believe!

The doctrine of "salvation by grace" is absurd.

Anonymous said...

This guy/boy sounds like another hit and run fundy, he's probably at church praying for the Real Gospel to be revealed to him. Ironic when you get the BibleBug, you become the source that only receives the Real True Gospel, meaning that God's holy word was directed at only the only true christians which happens to enclude only the people stupid enough to believe that garbage in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Joe's responses smack of elemenary school toilet humor.

If you read through ALL of the posts, you'll note that I am defending myself against a someone who hasn't bothered to do just that.

Pompous? No. A bit bothered by the inability of some to understand subtle
sarcasm? Goading? Yes. Goading? Yes. Ass? Maybe.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

THE REAL DEAL said...

Friday, December 23, 2005
God is Real!

As a counter to this very damaging website.... I submit a challenge to all who would do harm to countless souls by slandering the name of The Lord God.

God in His Mercy has allowed us freewill....so we have His permission to deny Him.

But to actually [b]encourage others to do likewise? [/b] wow...that's going too far. I know the in's and out's of christianinty and churchianty...and I am aware that they are are many times one and the same.

But do not discount the True..just because the counterfiet exists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If anything, the mere existance of the counterfiet....indicates that there is a TRUE.

As a believer for 30 years ( and Pastor for 20) I have seen the ugly underbelly of virtually every possible contridiction and hypocrisy of church. I too have wanted to quit the battle and give up.

May God help us to remain faithjful to HIM....not a denomination. sect, or church doctrine.

The REAL DEAL

Anonymous said...

THE REAL DEAL ,
If there hadn't been those super heroes who stood up to the popes and priests of the dark ages, they would still be burning people at the stake.

As a matter of fact, the ragheads who call God "Allah," and their prophet Mohammed, are still committing unspeakable crimes against humanity, against any one who questions their version of the Bible. (Quaran)

Thank the force that created us, that brave people come along who will stand up against rule by mysticism.

Anonymous said...

Damaging website, Real Deal? Slandering god? He must be a total pussy to let us get away with this!

Real Deal: not. As a pastor you whole life is based on lies and fraud. The website is about truth and reality, which is opposite everything you and your brainwashed kind are about.

Regards, carol

Anonymous said...

God is Real!

I disagree. God is a myth designed to repress the masses and give hope of "Pie in the Sky

As a counter to this very damaging website.... I submit a challenge to all who would do harm to countless souls by slandering the name of The Lord God.

The only thing this website does is tell true stories of release from the bondage of Christianity and give support to those who know deep down that God is a lie, and that religion is one of the most destructive of human constructs. This is a historical fact.

God in His Mercy has allowed us freewill....so we have His permission to deny Him.

From what I was taught in Christianity, your God will allow us freewill for about 80 years here on Earth. Then if we choose this so called freewill and ask simply "Is there a God," or choose to not believe, we are condemned to eternity in a place of horrible torture. Some freewill there.

Maybe you Christians could do that to one of your children, but my friend, I would not be able to inflict pain on my beloved child for a second. Well I guess I am just capable of greater love than you God

But to actually [b]encourage others to do likewise? [/b] wow...that's going too far. I know the in's and out's of christianinty and churchianty...and I am aware that they are are many times one and the same.

We encourage freedom and rational thought. We support each other by sharing our common experiences. I guess that is too much for you huh?

But do not discount the True..just because the counterfiet exists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If anything, the mere existance of the counterfiet....indicates that there is a TRUE.


The only thing that is counterfeit in this world is your hateful myth. The silly notion that there is some supreme being out there looking for billions of people to torture for all eternity. Shame on you.

As a believer for 30 years ( and Pastor for 20) I have seen the ugly underbelly of virtually every possible contridiction and hypocrisy of church. I too have wanted to quit the battle and give up.

Finally a bit of truth from the false prophet. You know how sick your religion is. You even admit to wanting to "give up." Why then, I must ask myself, don't you? Oh wait you have revealed yourself again. It is how you make your money. A career trying to trap otherwise happy people in your religion. Again I say shame on you.

May God help us to remain faithjful to HIM....not a denomination. sect, or church doctrine.

I am afraid that is all you have to prop up your deceptions. Your denomination and doctrines. How very sad for you.

Onanite

Anonymous said...

THE REAL DEAL
You said:
"As a counter to this very damaging website.... I submit a challenge to all who would do harm to countless souls by slandering the name of The Lord God"

If you have ever seen on TV the starving babies with the flies sitting on their lips and eyes waiting for them to die so they can lay their eggs in their dead flesh, you will see that God does a pretty good job of slandering himself, by being out to lunch for 4 billion years.

I would also suggest that you watch a few programs about people being born with 2 heads, or Progeria, or any of the myriad of horrible diseases that people are suffering with all over the world, especially in countries where no one has ever heard of Jesus, and never will.

webmdave said...

Counterfeit UFO parts, pieces and pictures exist.

I guess that PROVES that UFOs are real!

Anonymous said...

The real deal
You are right on about how damaging this most excellent web site is.
Please explain how you have been damaged.
How damaging is Islam to your god book.How damaging is the roman catholic church to your foundation.

Do you think that we are stupid and that anyone would reply to this

As a counter to this very damaging website.... I submit a challenge to all who would do harm to countless souls by slandering the name of The Lord God.

How can we be slandering The lord God.As god doesn't exist.Other than man.What god are you refering to Mithra Serapis jesus Yahweh or the other Lord gods.

Now tell us we are going to hell and that we were not true christians in the first place.

Pastor your past it.The jigs up.
The truth is out. www.jesusneverexisted.com

You are a fool.You have been measured (see torment in revelations) and have fallen short.

Who would agree to eternal torment.
Who would be pleased to know that billions of people will suffer forever and ever.

Would love torment forever and ever.
Would Mercy and compassion agree with you.?

I know that you will not return to answer my questions because you leave damaged.Yet more enformed.

You are the enemy of progress.It is you who have slandered the name of love.Fool.

Love man with all your heart and all your mind.Give to man that which he should ask of you.then man will prosper.Then all things will be possible.God is man.For I know no other.

Anonymous said...

As a counter to this very damaging website.... I submit a challenge to all who would do harm to countless souls by slandering the name of The Lord God.

Maybe my brain is out to lunch here, but is anybody else wondering what the challenge is?

Anonymous said...

To "the Real Deal:"

Please explain to me how it is that this website is "damaging." It appears to me that these are people who meet and agree that christianity is not believable. The sign on the door makes that quite obvious, as it reads "Ex-christian.net." Anybody who reads that ought to know that this is a website for people who once believed in christianity and no longer do. A few here may never have been christians at all, but most of us once were and no longer believe in it, it seems. I left christianity because I could not believe in the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, which the christian church has taught for centuries. I have other reasons for leaving as well. We here are generally happy to discuss our reasons for leaving christianity.

I'm glad I found this website. It's nice to know that there are others out there who also see the nonsense of christianity. Before I found this site I was surrounded by christians every where I went and I felt alone in my disbelief.

There are countless christian websites on the internet, but very few for non-christians.

I have to go. I have more to say to you, and I'll be back shortly.

If you don't like this site, then you have the option of leaving.

Before I go, just out of curiosity, how do you explain Matt. 23:13? How do you correlate said passage with the doctrine of "salvation by grace?"

That's just for starters. When you're done with that one, I've got a long list of them for you to explain. If you can explain those passages and correlate them with said doctrine in a way that makes sense, then I might consider being a christian. If you cannot explain them, then I will go along my merry way as an ex-christian. Okay?

If I am to be an ex-christian, then I will happily enjoy meeting here with other ex-christians.

I'm glad I found this website, personally.

I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

As someone who (1) is a Christian, (2)was not raised a Christian, (3) did not have some down-in-the-gutter experience that forced me to turn to religion as a crutch, and 4) is not an idiot (I got a 1330 on my SAT, scored in the 99th percentile on my LSAT, and have achieved a measure of success in the legal profession), I have a question:

Can someone explain to me the objective measurable harm that has come from Christianity?

I see so many on this site that are just filled with anger and cynicism toward Christianity. I certainly understand that people have done bad things in the name of Christianity, but so have they for all kinds of other things. Neither Stalin, Mao, nor Hitler were Christians, nor even religious people (although one could argue that Hitler was into non-Christian mysticism), and they are responsible for some of the most horrific things in the last century. Christ was not a violent hateful person. And, much good has come from Christians who sacrifice for others (Mother Theresa, International Justice Mission, Compassion International).

So, whether you want to believe in God and Christianity, or not, that is certainly your choice. But, to argue that Christianity has harmed so many seems a bit lacking in historical perspective. Heck, even if you look at it from a materialistic perspective (which I am not advocating), it would appear that Christianity has served people well. In the light of history, our country has as much of a Christian underpinning as virtually any in history and we have an incredibly high standard of living and do a pretty good job of ensuring that people do not have to go without food, clothing, or shelter in our country.

What parts of the Bible do you think are so harmful? Is it the command to love our neighbor as ourself? Or is it the command to forgive others over and over? Or maybe it is the part about helping the poor, the widows, and orphans? Is it the part about turning the other cheek?

I mean, even if you think most Christians have done a terrible job of living a model life (but are instead hypocrites), it would seem to me that one would do well from a moral perspective to follow Christ's teachings even if you do not believe in God. I certainly do not see how you can say that Christ is the source of a destructive, harmful system of beliefs. So, please do explain it to me.

Oh, and please do it without the namecalling if you want it to be considered an "intelligent response."

Anonymous said...

nonexchristian
Lets start with the name calling.

The Bible
Only a fool would believe that there is no god.
1 please explain

2 Do you agree that infinite punishment for finite sin is a just reward.?

Anonymous said...

Forever:

I do not understand what you mean by the first question, i.e., what it is you want me to explain.

As for the second question, I believe that those who are not born again ultimately die a second death (as it is called in revelation) whereby they cease to exist. Those who are born again and have been clothed with immortality (1 Corinthians 15) will not face a second (spiritual) death. That is what Jesus meant when He said His followers would not die. They have been given eternal life and the second death has no power over them (again, straight from the book of revelation). So, in answer to your question, I do not see the bible teaching some eternal conscious punishment for unbelievers.

Now, I still would like someone to answer my question. :-)

Anonymous said...

nonexchristian,
You said you are not an idiot. Please explain how you, as an intelligent person and a Christian, believe that animals can talk and a bush spoke human language? Do you believe a person lived in a whale for 3 days? Do you believe a ghost inserted his magic wand up a girl's dress and then unloaded his holy load to produce a man-god? I'll refrain, for now, regarding all the other ridiculous Christian beliefs. This is not namecalling and they are serious questions.

How can you, as a very intelligent person, believe in all these crazy fables? Have you ever thought about why *you* happen to believe in this particular fairy tale? The religion you believe in almost exclusively determined by space and time.


Have you read about world religions and how Christianity is just another religion that evolved from primeval religious beliefs? Did your know your jesus character is not even original?


And to answer your question about is Christian harmful. Yes, it is. It says you are sinful, thus the negative connotation associated with it and the loss of self respect. The bible says to fear your "all-loving" god. How can you honor such a belief system? It's a belief system that creates bigots, as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson come to mind. It makes people naive and thus easily fleeced---just read the multitude of articles on this web site for examples.


Your god is homophobic. In fact, your god would rather have girls raped than allow homosexual activity. Here's some of the fruits of Christianity:
http://www.godhatesfags.com/

Never once did Jesus, nor God, I mean himself, denounce the institution of slavery even though slavery was mentioned in many biblical verses.


And speaking of lack or originality. The Christmas tree, wreath, mistletoe are all stolen religious symbols. I have a task for you. How many other religious symbols did Christianity steal and make their own?


Cheers

Anonymous said...

Nonexchristian asks, "Can someone explain to me the objective measurable harm that has come from Christianity?"

Comes now the deluge. It starts with a trickle: Believing in falsehoods is inherently harmful. Expending energy through faith in that for which you have insufficient evidence is objective waste.

Harm? You say that, "whether you want to believe in God and Christianity, or not, that is certainly your choice." Yet the truth of your belief is that, if I make the wrong choice, I suffer unspeakable torment forever? No harm in laying that burden on me? My "choice," you say?

Oh, how I pray that this little answer may find grace in your sight, thou most exalted Nonexchristian, and that I might be counted among the dear ones giving an "intelligent response"!

Anonymous said...

nonexchristian
Since you do not understand the first 1 I'll leave it.

Your second response too 2 Remains a puzzle.
As how many other Christians would disagree with you.Why do the many Christians disagree.Even on simple things like baptism.

So is what you are saying.The buddist deserves to not exist because he is an unbeliever in your god.?
So do you believe that a finite sin deserves destruction.?

Why does your heart agree with your answer.Because a book told you so.

All you have is a book and a relationship with words.Just as the muslem and the Mormon do.

Professing to be wise they become fools. more name calling

Anonymous said...

To quote the brilliant lawyer/Historian nonexchristian:

So, whether you want to believe in God and Christianity, or not, that is certainly your choice. But, to argue that Christianity has harmed so many seems a bit lacking in historical perspective.

Let’s see, here are a couple of things you might want to look up:

Emperor Constantine:
In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to become a Christian, had over 3000 Christians executed because their interpretation of the Bible did not agree with his. That is more than the number of Christians who died at the hands of the Romans during the well known 1st century "Christians to the lions" persecutions. (1)

He did this to the good Christians. Do a little research on what he did to the non Christians.

The Inquisition:
You know about the Spanish Inquisition right? I mean with such a high SAT score and all. If not, do a little google search. My guess is you will find a couple of pages out there on it.

The burning times :
English Catholics suffered horribly under Protestant regimes. American historian William T. Walsh writes: "In Britain, 30,000 went to the stake for witchcraft; in Protestant Germany, the figure was 100,000." In Scotland, too, (alleged) witches were cruelly put to death.

Charlemagne :
In 777, Charlemagne, a devout Christian, after conquering the Saxon rebels, gave them a choice between baptism and execution. When they refused to convert, he had 4500 of them beheaded in one morning. (1)

The Crusades (1095-1291) :
1098 - Antiochia (then Turkish) conquered, between 10,000 and 60,000 slain. (2)

6/28/1098 100,000 Turks (incl. women and children) killed. (2)
Here the Christians "did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy's] tents - save that they ran their lances through their bellies," according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. (5)

In 1122 Christian crusaders swept over Jerusalem and slaughtered men, women and children, 'until their horses were knee deep in blood. We then went to the church to thank the Lord for his mercy.' (1)

The 30 Years’ War:
17th century (Catholic vs. Protestant): at least 40% of population decimated, mostly in Germany. (5)

Twentieth Century :
**Catholic extermination camps
Surprisingly few know that Nazi extermination camps in World War II were by no means the only ones in Europe at the time. In the years 1942-1943 also in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under their dictator Ante Paveliç, a practicing Catholic and regular visitor to the then pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children!

In these camps - the most notorious was Jasenovac, headed by a Franciscan friar - orthodox-Christian Serbians (and a substantial number of Jews) were murdered. Like the Nazis the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims in kilns, alive (the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first). But most of the victims were simply stabbed, slain or shot to death, the number of them being estimated between 300,000 and 600,000, in a rather tiny country. Many of the killers were Franciscan friars. The atrocities were appalling enough to induce bystanders of the Nazi "Sicherheitsdienst der SS", watching, to complain about them to Hitler (who did not listen). The pope knew about these events and did nothing to prevent them. (6)

Well took me about 5 minutes online and 10 here posting, to blow your little "Christianity never does anything wrong BS to high .. [snicker] heaven. Before you make more of an ass of yourself, you may want to read a little of history. What do you think?

Onanite

Sources:

(1)William Manchester's "A World Lit Only by Fire- The Medieval Mind and The Renaissance"..Little, Brown & Company, 1992
(2)H.Wollschläger: Die bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem, Zürich 1973.
(3)H.Wollschläger: Die bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem, Zürich 1973.
(4)J.B.Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, Ithaca/NY 1972, 39.
(5)K.Deschner, Opus Diaboli, Reinbek 1987.
(6)A.Manhattan, The Vatican's Holocaust, Springfield 1986.
See also V.Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Buffalo NY, 1992.

Anonymous said...

It's not Christ who is harmful, it's the Pharisees who claim to follow him (a.k.a. people who insist others have to follow him too, in the "correct" way). Current example: Christians want to ban abortion because the Bible is supposedly against it. The result of that would be any woman with an ectopic pregnancy would have to wait in physical agony until her fallopian tube burst and the baby naturally died before she could have surgery, hoping against hope she doesn't die herself. Harmful? You bet.

Another example: believing that the Bible says white males are superior, the KKK was formed and women are encouraged by their own priests to stay in abusive marriages. Harmful? Yup.

Last one I'm going to bring up: gays and non-Christian children are told to their faces they are going to hell because Jesus doesn't like either one. Read: you are not good enough for God, so just die. Don't think that's harmful? I think they'd beg to differ.

Religion in general is supposed to be an uplifting, positive thing, and if that's what it is for you then more power to ya. But it's not that way for all of us. For me personally, it's restrictive and teaches separation. I believe in unconditional love and forgiveness, and your God doesn't. By my standards, he's way too human and primitive. Christ is better, but whole blood sacrifice things smacks of tribal superstition. Sorry, but when Christianity grows up, then I'll consider it.

Anonymous said...

The problem with most of the examples of the "harm" from Christianity is that they are simply examples of people who want to do bad in the name of Christianity (I acknowledged in my post that many people have done bad things in the "name" of Christianity). With most of those examples it is quite easy to show how the actions of those involved were entirely inconsistent with Christ's teaching, thus negating that the harm came from Christianity itself.

Using the examples given, and drawing an analogy to current times, I could just as easily say that democracy is a terrible thing because look at how Americans have gone off and started a war in Iraq, resulting in the death of thousands of people. Or I could say that democracy is a terrible thing because look at the torture committed at Abu Ghraib or elsewhere on terrorist prisoners by Americans (who profess democracy and are supposedly taking on this mission in Iraq on the basis of bringing democracy). The problem with that is that I am not realy looking at the root causes and drawing a reasonable connection. Many, many Americans would say "hey, don't associate us with that conduct, even though we also love the ideals of democracy -- it is not the love of democracy that drives that behavior"). Just because in 2000 years some people have chosen to use Christianity as a banner to do bad things (when those things were clearly condemned by Jesus) does not mean that Christianity caused the harm. I would propose that those same evils would have been committed under the guise of some other banner if Christianity didn't exist.


As for the question by Forever, yes I do believe that spiritual destruction is an appropriate result from finite sin. Hey, a person still had the opportunity to live this life, so what claim can that person make against God that he deserved more. If someone consciously chooses to reject eternal life through Christ, that person can hardly say to God "You are unfair. Yes, I rejected your offer, but how did I know it was really true?"

As for how an intelligent person can believe in Christianity, there are some great books on the subject - "Finding Faith" by Brian Mclaren, "Reason to Believe" by R.C. Sproul are just a couple.

Well, gotta run. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened today!

webmdave said...

Here ya go na-na-na-non:

Those Caring Christians

Victims of the Christian Faith

Early Christians

An Examination of the Early Martyrs

Quotes from Saint Augustine

The Crusaders

Letters from the Crusades of 11th Century

Letter from the East to Master of Hospitalers 1187

Gerold, Patriarch of Jerusalem Letter to all the Faithfull in 1229

The Catholics
>
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day

The Destruction of Magdeburg

Quotes from Galileo

Galileo's Letter to the Church 1632

The Church sentences Galileo 1633

The Reformers

Martin Luther - Hitler's Spiritual Ancestor

Luther the Deranged THEOLOGIAN
Quotes from Martin Luther

Ordinances For The Regulation of the Churches
Dependent Upon the Seigniory of Geneva 1547


Calvin Quotes

John Calvin - a Nazi

The Complaint of Nicholas de la Fontaine
Against Servetus, 14 August, 1553


Reformation Persectution

Witch Trials


Torture of the Pappenheimers from Bamberger Halsgerichtordnung 1508


THE JOHANNES JUNIUS LETTER between 1618 & 1648

Slavery

Mutual Relation of Masters and Slaves
as Taught in the Bible.
A Discourse Preached in the First Presbyterian Church,
Augusta, Georgia, on Sabbath Morning, Jan. 6, 1861


Today's Christians

Christian Faith and Urban Legends

Letters that have been sent to the webmaster

HELL HELL HELL

Dan Gentry

Gary North

R. J. Rushdooney
Randall Terry

Cliche' Answers Some Christians use

Basic Apologetic Rationalizations

Everybody Hates Us - A Christian Perspective

What would Jesus Do?

On Coping with Christians

God on the Brain

Anonymous said...

Um, Mr. Intelligence, did you even read where I said it's not Christianity but the Pharisees that are harmful?

Did you also read the part about unconditional love and forgiveness that your God lacks? I'll say it again: I like your Christ, for the most part, but Christianity has little to do with Christ. The religion emphasizes pagan blood sacrifices and "believe in me and accept my bloody gift" rather than "Christ wants you to love your fellow human being rather than worship him." See the difference here?

I follow Christ's ideals but I don't believe he was the only Son of God, I think "sin" is a bunch of crap designed to keep people in line, and any God who punishes someone eternally for not claiming to believe the right thing is a monster and not worthy of spitting on, let alone worshipping. In short, your God is juvenile and has a temper tantrum when people don't tell him how great he is. I don't accept that kind of behavior in my 6 year old but I'm expected to revere a God who does it? Please.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

I have never came across a site of such bitter, hurting people.

A few responses.....Number 1, I do not get paid a salary for Following my calling...not that I think it so objectional that many pastors are paid ( much less than they are worth by the way)

Number 2...there is no "jig" that is up. I am not weird. I do not USE christianity as a crutch.

I am not brainwashed...

I do not believe in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and its false man-made doctrines.

And I realize alot( not all) of Historical mis-deeds and atrocities have been done in the name of christianity, God, Jesus and religion.

I also do not default to christianity...simply because I have been born and raised in America. I have traveled to other continents and seen the horrific suffering some here have spoken about.

You folks are entitled to your obviously hate-filled, and hostile opinions of the faith(that's putting it mildly!~)

My challenge is to those who have stumbled across this site and are taken in by the venomous comments, put-downs and lies attributed to TRUE BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY.

It is not true.

There is a Real God who really does love you. You didnt create yourself...we didnt create this Planet and have it just the right distance form our Sun so to sustain our life.

If you are a seeker...seek on!
God knows you personally....he hears your prayers...and He will respond~

Real Deal

Jim Arvo said...

Here we go again, with Anonymous (12/24/2005 1:09 PM EST), who said...

"Wow. I have never came across a site of such bitter, hurting people...."

Numerous Christian visitors here open with similar allegations, about the people here being "bitter" or "angry" etc., but I've yet to see one demonstrate that they have taken the time to read much of anything here. You are in that category too, Anonymous. You are quick to paint with a broad brush, apparently unconcerned with who you color. If you take the time to read some of the many MANY things that are written here, you will find a great many people who are thoughtful, educated, and responsible. Yes, occasionally apostates will also vent some anger; but so what? In many cases they have every right to be angry. But I, for one, am not angry, or bitter, or hurting.

"A few responses....."

I won't quarrel with your responses. You are entitled to follow whatever path you wish, and embrace whatever philosophy you see fit. (Of course, we needn't agree with you.)

"You folks are entitled to your obviously hate-filled, and hostile opinions of the faith(that's putting it mildly!~)"

Again, the broad brush. Does it concern you at all that your assertions concerning "hate" and "hostility" may not be accurate? Do you feel any responsibility for the things that you say? Would you deem it appropriate to learn something about the people whom you denigrate so?

"My challenge is to those who have stumbled across this site and are taken in by the venomous comments, put-downs and lies attributed to TRUE BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY."

Venomous comments? Are you able to distinguish between venom, and legitimate differences of opinion? Maybe you are; I just cannot tell from what you've written. Do you think there is even a trace of venom in your own comments?

"It is not true. There is a Real God who really does love you."

That's the entire crux of the issue, is it not? Do you see why simply pronouncing your belief is not the least bit useful here? If you have some credible evidence, or some cogent argument to back up what you say, I'd be curious to hear it. But I must warn you, most of us here are well-versed in Christian apologetics, and it's EXTREMELY likely that we've heard and analyzed all the arguments you will come up with (and then some). To those of us who have studied your religious text and dogma extensively, it simply does not stand up as a credible belief system. We can get into that if you like. Are you curious?

"You didnt create yourself...we didnt create this Planet and have it just the right distance form our Sun so to sustain our life."

No, of course we did not create ourselves. My toaster oven did not create us either. What do you conclude from that? As for being the "right" distance from the sun, that argument falls into the category of "design", or the "teleological argument". One of the many fallacies that undermine such arguments is the confusion between cause and effect. Again, we can discuss that further if you are interested in a civil dialog.

"If you are a seeker...seek on!

I've never stopped "seeking". I feel it is a life-long duty to critically examine my own beliefs and assumptions continuously. Moreover, I am always willing to consider a different point of view. That's one of the many reasons I like to visit this site.

"God knows you personally....he hears your prayers...and He will respond~"

Again, you state your opinion as if it is an established fact. If you would like for me or anyone else here to think that opinion is worth adopting, you will need to give some well-reasoned arguments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but opinion alone carries no weight whatsoever when it comes to persuading others.

I do hope that you can show more civility and charity in your next post. That *is* in line with your spiritual beliefs, is it not?

Good day.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, Believers! Man, you fellers are shore right. I'm so glad that Jesus lives in me!

Before I got saved, some people had told me that I had to accept Jesus into my heart. I didn’t understand that much, but Jesus did come to live in me, anyway. Only he didn’t come live in my heart.

Jesus lives in my colon.

That’s right! It happened like this here. I have suffered for years from chronic constipation. Boys, it’s turrible! One day, I was sitting on my porcelain throne just a straining. Lordy, it was hurting me, too. I tried and tried but it just wouldn’t turn loose. It hurt so bad that I started talking out loud to God. I said, “Oh, lordy Jesus, help me!”

And, you know what? He did! I could feel it! Really feel Him! Jesus had come into my colon and was helping me do my business! I hollered out loud, “Push, Jesus, push!” Then I got the soul cleansing relief that I had prayed for!

I’m so glad that Jesus lives in my colon instead of my heart (which is doing fine by itself).

‘Course, I still get constipated. But I know that I can always call on Jesus in my times of need.

Sing with me: “Are you weary? Are you constipated? Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus. He is a friend that’s well known!”

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
You said:
"There is a Real God who really does love you. You didn't create yourself...we didn't create this Planet and have it just the right distance form our Sun so to sustain our life"

Until you are intellectually capable of making statements that exhibit more analytical proclivity than the one above, you are just exposing yourself to a liturgy of painful abuse by regulars on this site.

Actually when life started on this planet it was not in the same orbit as it is now, and a billion years from now, it will be in a different orbit, and if life still exists on earth it will have evolved to adapt to the new environment. Maybe humans will have become smarter and won't have the need to believe in mythological, heaven, hell, sin, Satan, make believe stuff.

Think about how silly the crucifixion story is when analyzed in the light of today's knowledge that exposes it as just another pagan (God had a baby with a human, in order to produce a messiah), story.
Dano

Anonymous said...

Nonexchristian,
It is plainly evident you are in denial. Please read the following web site regarding the stages of disbelief. It's from the Islamic perspective, however, much of it applies to Christianity.

http://www.humanists.net/alisina/wean_from_islam.htm


An excerpt:
"This is the stage of denial. It is a self defense mechanism. If pain is too big, denial will take that pain away. If a mother is informed that her child has died in an accident, the first thing she would do is to deny. People who have lost a loved one often believe that this is all a bad dream and when they wake up everything will be okay. But unfortunately facts are stubborn and they will not go away. One can live in denial for a while but s/he must accept the truth sooner or later. The only mechanism and the natural way to deal with it is denial. Denial takes away the pain. Denial is soothing. Denial is bliss. But denial is hiding ones head in the sand. One cannot stay in denial forever. Sooner or later we have to face the truth and deal with it."


Cheers

Anonymous said...

Onanite ...you wrote:
I disagree. God is a myth designed to repress the masses and give hope of "Pie in the Sky

The only thing this website does is tell true stories of release from the bondage of Christianity and give support to those who know deep down that God is a lie, and that religion is one of the most destructive of human constructs. This is a historical fact.

From what I was taught in Christianity, your God will allow us freewill for about 80 years here on Earth. Then if we choose this so called freewill and ask simply "Is there a God," or choose to not believe, we are condemned to eternity in a place of horrible torture. Some freewill there.

Maybe you Christians could do that to one of your children, but my friend, I would not be able to inflict pain on my beloved child for a second. Well I guess I am just capable of greater love than you God

We encourage freedom and rational thought. We support each other by sharing our common experiences. I guess that is too much for you huh?


The only thing that is counterfeit in this world is your hateful myth. The silly notion that there is some supreme being out there looking for billions of people to torture for all eternity. Shame on you.

Finally a bit of truth from the false prophet. You know how sick your religion is. You even admit to wanting to "give up." Why then, I must ask myself, don't you? Oh wait you have revealed yourself again. It is how you make your money. A career trying to trap otherwise happy people in your religion. Again I say shame on you.

I am afraid that is all you have to prop up your deceptions. Your denomination and doctrines. How very sad for you.

Onanite

12/23/2005 5:18 PM

***********************

I chose this for you Jim Arvo, as a fine example of the "inteligent discussion" you state represents this website.

Surely being an educated man you can almost "feel" the venom and bitterness dripping from Onanite's words.

I have not had time to read much of this site...and yes I have alot of catching up to do..but it is evident that the webmaster has found a way to invite others to share in his dislike of the Faith he once held dear.

It must give him a sense of security knowing that others can voice their own disapproval and hatred for Christ.

But that is only a guess.

You ( and several others) have aske me to step back and see "how silly" the christian faith is....fair enough.

Are YOU objective enough to do the same when reading the comments on this site?

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why someone would go on an exchristian site and then wonder why they don't get a warm response when they try to sell their god. The people on this site have not only read the bible, but have studied it. You can't prove that your god is the one true god any more than I can prove that fairies live in my back yard. I don't need christianity to live a moral life. And I don't need christianity to get through the hard times in my life.

webmdave said...

I'm wondering how many congregants "RealDeal" has in his ministerial flock since he apparently has plenty of time to chat on the Internet with apostates - even on Christmas Eve!

Note: Consider the question rhetorical.

Anonymous said...

Denial, huh? That is a kicker! :-)

Well, if that is the case, then I can live with it. I love life, but not so much that I fear death. I have more blessings than I can count, but I wouldn't bat an eye if I lost them. Heck, I have already lost much, but gained even more afterward.

I'm just going to keep walking through life with God and trust that I can make it with all my denial. (obviously, the "denial" part is tongue in cheek).

As the Apostle Paul said "I have learned to be content in all things." Of course, I stumble from time to time, but in general, it's all good. As they say in Jamaica - "eyree!" (not so sure about that spelling)

Anyway, I asked people to explain how Christianity has truly caused harm and I have yet to see a response that persuades me. The mere fact that people have done bad things in the name of Christ or God does not mean that Christianity is inherently harmful or the cause of such things. When I see teachings of Christ that are directly harmful, then I might be persuaded. Until then, I don't buy the "guilt by association" tactics typically utilized.

Well, I have to go worship my God and celebrate Christmas. (Yes, I know its origins, but that does not cheapen the celebration. My church and many others also have started celebrating fall festivals as an alternative to Halloween. Years from now I am sure people will say we "stole" it. That would be false, because all we are doing is looking for an acceptable alternative to a secular cultural celebration we might disagree with. I don't see anything insidious or dishonest in that -- but I am sure that some do!)

This has been great fun, but I started on this site not with the intention of continuing to be involved but in trying to figure out why so many have attibuted harm to Christianity. I still don't see it. I do wish you all well, though, and hope that those who are bitter (I'm not saying all are) are able to get past their bitterness and hurt and to enjoy the life they have been given.

Peace!

webmdave said...

G'bye Na, Na Na, Na Na ... Na.

If Muslims do horrific things it says nothing against their religion>? If Communists do horrific things it says nothing against their worldview?

Ideas have consequences! As a man thinks in his heart, so is he - right? It is a certain worldview and belief system that makes people blow themselves up and fly planes into buildings. From what you are saying, you think that when a Muslim village cheers when yet another martyr has entered paradise, it says nothing bad about Islam at all - it is just people who don't really understand their religion - or am I completely off the mark in what you are saying?

For many centuries the leaders of Christianity have been responsible for some of the most horrific chapters in history. Good strong Calvinistic preaching supported slavery in the southern US prior to the Civil War. Now militant anti-abortionist heroes lead the fray in Re-constructionist-type churches. I posted a huge list of examples of the horrific things Christianity has caused - naturally you pooh-poohed them all with a slight wave of typical fundie cyber-arrogance.

If you really wanted to research this topic, the topic of how harmful Christianity really is, a topic I sincerely doubt you are interested in researching, a topic you just wanted to mention so as to make some asinine point by jotting a few immature and snotty posts - well if I've misjudged your intention and tone, and you really wanted a real answer, then read this book: The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

Oh, and since this is Christmas Eve, thank you so much for taking your little opportunity with us to spread the unconditional love of your angry, jealous, hellfire and brimstone creating god with your self-congratulatory self-righteousness.

Ho, ho, ho!

webmdave said...

One more point for the nonnie:

You really need to study history before there is any hope of discussing this with you intelligently - you are not on the same platform - your platform is founded on "faithful" ignorance.

The Christianity of today is NOT the Christianity of yesterday. The Christianity of yesterday bears little resemblance to the Christianity that existed before that. Christianity has morphed in thousands of ways just like every other man-made religion. The vast improvements in western society have only come about since the vice grip of ignorant "faith" has been replaced by reason. Science and medicine have only been free to advance in the last couple of centuries because Christianity's stranglehold over logical thought has been broken. Under the tutelage of Christianity, ignorance, poverty and disease ran rampant over the world. Since Christianity lost its terrible grip, the human experience has been greatly improved for millions. Only the abandonment of primitive ignorance will continue that trend to a better world - a return to "faith" will consign humanity to another age of darkness, and from the history I've read, not even you would want live there.

Anonymous said...

nonexchristian: "Well, if that is the case, then I can live with it[denial]."

That's great. You now know you have a personal belief and it's all yours...I can't take that away as you are governed by the secular document called the constitution in the U.S., in which you can express your 1st amendment rights. Just remember, you don't have a universal truth. You have a personal belief, just like the millions of people in the U.S. who think they have been abducted by space aliens have their personal beliefs too.


Cheers

Anonymous said...

Hey, "Real Deal!" Would you answer my question please?

Anonymous said...

Sandy: "Well, I have to go worship my God and celebrate Christmas. (Yes, I know its origins, but that does not cheapen the celebration. My church and many others also have started celebrating fall festivals as an alternative to Halloween. Years from now I am sure people will say we "stole" it. That would be false, because all we are doing is looking for an acceptable alternative to a secular cultural celebration we might disagree with. I don't see anything insidious or dishonest in that -- but I am sure that some do!)"

Sandy, here's the history of X-Mas...

"The context in which Christianity, and thus Christmas, was formed was the Roman Empire. The Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, each year beginning on December 17. In a festival called Saturnalia, they glorified past days when the god Saturn ruled. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter solstice which by the Julian calendar fell on December 25. During Saturnalia the Romans feasted, postponed all business and warfare, exchanged gifts, and temporarily freed their slaves. Such traditions resemble those of Christmas and are used to establish a link between the two holidays. These and other winter festivities continued through January 1, the festival of Kalends, when Romans marked the day of the new moon and the first day of the month and the beginning of the religious year. As Isaac Asimov comments in his Guide to the Bible, "[C]onverts could join Christianity without giving up their Saturnalian happiness. It was only necessary for them to joyfully greet the birth of the Son rather than the Sun."

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Christmas is not included in Irenaeus's nor Tertullian's list of Christian feasts, the earliest known lists of Christian feasts. The earliest evidence of celebration is from Alexandria, in about 200, when Clement of Alexandria says that certain Egyptian theologians "over curiously" assign not just the year but also the actual day of Christ's birth as 25 Pachon (May 20) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus.[2] By the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325, the Alexandrian church had fixed a dies Nativitatis et Epiphaniae. The December feast reached Egypt in the fifth century. In Jerusalem, the fourth century pilgrim Egeria from Bordeaux witnessed the Feast of the Presentation, forty days after January 6, which must have been the date of the Nativity there. At Antioch, probably in 386, St. John Chrysostom urged the community to unite in celebrating Christ's birth on December 25, a part of the community having already kept it on that day for at least ten years.

Some scholars maintain that December 25 was only adopted in the 4th century as a Christian holiday after Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity to encourage a common religious festival for both Christians and pagans. Perusal of historical records indicates that the first mention of such a feast in Constantinople was not until 379, under Gregory Nazianzus. In Rome, it can only be confirmed as being mentioned in a document from approximately 350 but without any mention of sanction by Emperor Constantine.

Early Christians chiefly celebrated the Epiphany, when the baby Jesus was visited by the Magi (and this is still a primary time for celebration in Spain and Armenia). Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. At times it was forbidden by Protestant churches until after the 1800s because of its association with Catholicism."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

Your religion/church is attempting to remove Halloween, as the early Roman Church attempted to rob the Pagan's from their tradition... Many Protestants didn't even celebrate X-Mas, over a thousand years because of the Catholic taint of the religious festival...

On the surface, it doesn't appear as if Rome did anything wrong by offering an alternative... however, thousands of years later... We have ignorant Christians running around trying to state that Jesus was born on December 25, as a fact... not just any Christians... "Protestant" Christians... who have been duped into believing a "lie", or who are "liars" themselves for their own purposes...

There is nothing wrong with offering an alternative to begin with for another celebration, however, it has been my experience that Chistianity and the religious in general throughout history have attempted to "rewrite" their own foundations... The fall festivals were created to offer an alternative to those who are celebrating Halloween, to create an "us" and "them" mantra...

And... then... over time... as more and more people start celebrating fall festival(s) (in theory), the "reason" for its inception will change "somehow" from, "we're just trying to offer an alternative to a secular celebration", to "some religiously significant and symbolic reason, with no mention of Halloween"... Thus, as generations pass, children will grow up, losing the "true" history for why there (in theory) is "fall festival"...

Today, there are so many Christians who are ignorant of their religions' past, and its not entirely their fault... its the "religious leaders" and those who conspire with them, who attempt to "wash" and "cleanse" history, by "bait and switch" tactics... Sandy, "you" may not be the "instigator" of such an operation, however, "you" didn't "start" fall festival... I'm curious, if someone asks you later on, "why" you celebrate "fall festival", what will be your response? Will you mention "Halloween", or will you start pushing some "historical revisionism"?

"Historical denial (sometimes called historical revisionism, see qualifier below) is history practiced by those who take on a partisan tone, either as an official state policy, or to advance the interests of a particular group. The revisionist seeks to rewrite history by downgrading or simply ignoring essential facts. In an open society, revisionists can be recognized as such because they challenge the historian community's consensus."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revisionist_history

On that note, I'll leave you with, what's "wrong" with Christianity, outside of the negative psychological affects injected in defenseless children, etc... The doctrine itself, is "exclusive", it creates division by defining the "saved" and the "unsaved", this... leads to "bigotry", for many "christians"... Its bigotry, based on the "creed", and "biblical doctrine"... Christianity, evolved from many different belief systems, and was catalyzed by Constantine I, as the Roman sanctioned State Religion...

The bible is akin to a loaded weapon left out in the "open", where anyone can grab it, and use it for their own agenda... there are so many "justified" immoral acts in the bible, that anyone reading it, based on "their intent", can literally quote and justify their actions...

Christianity is "based" on its doctrine, and creed... Without that, jesus, never existed as a deity, as the NT is the only record stating such... A Christian must accept the NT as authoritative, else, their belief is based solely on another persons' personal testimony, i.e., their "faith", is based on error-prone humanity a few thousand years "removed"...

Christianity, promoted as a "fact", instead of a "faith", is harmful to an "open society"... the religion, taken by doctrine as a "fact" becomes nothing less than a loaded weapon with instructions on who to shoot, which has become the basis for murder over the past few thousand years... the religion, taken by doctrine as a "faith", becomes "more benign", and allows for tolerance of Other beliefs...

Now, Sandy, how many Christians do you "know", who would suggest that the "bible" isn't 100%, directly inspired by God, as a "fact"? If you know at least "one", its too many in a "free", civilized society, wanting tolerance...

Anonymous said...

My above posts... replace, "Sandy" with the name "nonexchristian"...

Anonymous said...

Na na na na nonexchristian
It would seem to me that you are working against your own god.

The Lords prayer
May your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
Gods will
God will have all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth
The Saviour
Jesus Christ the saviour of all men especially those who believe.

w w ww wwait there's more
1 Tim. 2:1. "I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men."

Jesus said.
What ever you ask in my name It will be done.
So
What good is a saviour who does not save.?

remember.Nothing fails like prayer

Who does the saving you confessing christ or jesus dieing on the cross.?For the sins of THE WORLD

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sandy, I meant the above post for nonexchristian :-) However, I did like your post...

Sandy: "What I don't understand is why someone would go on an exchristian site and then wonder why they don't get a warm response when they try to sell their god. The people on this site have not only read the bible, but have studied it. You can't prove that your god is the one true god any more than I can prove that fairies live in my back yard. I don't need christianity to live a moral life. And I don't need christianity to get through the hard times in my life."

Truth sounds so... clean... :-) take care...

webmdave said...

Dave8:

Just in case nannie-nannie-pooh-pooh doesn't accept your Satanic secular references, here's a little something from the prolific Christian writer, Kevin Reed:

Christmas:

An Historical Survey Regarding
Its Origins and Opposition to It

Anonymous said...

Hello, Webmaster, I think I've been celebrating too hard lately, when I've cut and pasted comments from two diiferent areas I've mixed up names on a few occassion... I like the location of the comment block now :-) Well, I'm not sure nannie-nannie-pooh-pooh has enough intellectual curiosity to inspire life altering thought ;-) In any case, thank you for this site, and all that you've done to facilitate free thought, in an open society... Merry Solstice, to you and your family... take care...

Anonymous said...

To nonexchristian RE 12/24/05:

You said "I do not see the bible teaching some eternal conscious punishment for non-believers."

If you are christian, you must believe that a christian is "saved." This would mean that a christian will go to heaven when they die, or come judgement day, depending upon which branch of christianity one believes in. They will remain there forever. If you don't believe in "eternal conscious punishment for non-believers," as you put it, then what do you believe is their eternal fate, since they won't "accept Jesus?" According to the christian church, it must be that non-christians are those who are "cast into the lake of fire, which burneth and tormenteth forever and ever" as mentioned in revelations. What is hell to you?

If you believe in the doctrine of salvation by grace, how do you explain Matt. 23:13?

As far as "objective measurable harm that has come from christianity," how about the witch hunts or the crusades?

As far as "what parts of the bible are harmful," in psalms we are told "happy shall he be who dasheth thy children against the stones." Are you aware of that passage? There are others as well, but I'll have to look them up.

Anonymous said...

My last post was in response to nonexchristians post at 12/24/05 at 12:30 AM.

Anonymous said...

slingshot wrote:

To "the Real Deal:"

Please explain to me how it is that this website is "damaging."

Before I go, just out of curiosity, how do you explain Matt. 23:13? How do you correlate said passage with the doctrine of "salvation by grace?"

That's just for starters. When you're done with that one, I've got a long list of them for you to explain. If you can explain those passages and correlate them with said doctrine in a way that makes sense, then I might consider being a christian. If you cannot explain them, then I will go along my merry way as an ex-christian. Okay?

If I am to be an ex-christian, then I will happily enjoy meeting here with other ex-christians.

I'm glad I found this website, personally.

I'll be back.
***************************

Merry Christmas Slingshot.
I would be happy to answer your questions.

The reason I describe this site as "damaging" should be obvious....if I were a non christian and someone directed me to this site, it would only justify and help me rationalize why NOT to place my faith in The Lord Jesus.

Also to those having doubts, struggles, hard times, or just genuine questions abouth christianity...you paint the picture here that life without Christ is not only OK..but you put up a false facade proclaiming how "free" you all feel now that you have renounced the God that gave you your very breath.

I call that damaging.

As to Matthew 23:13....please remember that man divided God Word into chapter and verses...so reading one verse almost always requires a look at the previous chapter...in this way you can Study the Scriptures and know WHO is talking, WHAT the subject matter is...and WHEN the passage is talking about time-wise.

Jesus was rightfully rebuking the religious leaders of His day for their hypocrisy and harmful practices..and of leading others to do likewise. They were making a mockery of the Law of Moses, robbing people by selling temple items, and not PRACTICING what they preached.

I am a new comer here...so if there is a webrule against posting Scripture Passages I apologize in advance...but I have to at least give you a little more than one verse to show you the intent of verse 13...


Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

23:10
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

23:11
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

23:12
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

23:13
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

23:14
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

23:15
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

23:16
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor !
===========================

God has never allowed hypocrisy to go unchecked forever. Eventually...as many on this site know..Our sins will find us out.

Better to keep short accounts with God and repent when we need to repent.
Contrary to what is posted here...repentence ( being sorry for doing wrong is NOT a dirty word~

RD

Anonymous said...

Real Deal,

I could not help but notice an outrageous assumption that you made, that many people make when they accept an intelligent design view of the universe, and then take on a Christian view of the designer and history, and then expect no opposing arguments to the religion you take on faith…. On the internet no less.

You are in the wrong place if you are looking for single-mindedness and agreement in lock step.

You assume your faith is the one and only faith that has the only TRUE history of the earth, salvation, and the supernatural. Now that is your right, and I would not attempt to take your faith from you, as I would not attempt to take the devotion from a Jew, a Muslim or an agnostic like myself. But you somehow declare, in a roundabout way, that our website has less of a right to exist because it damages, causes false hope, and leads people astray. I find this disturbing, and if you will let me, I will try to speak to your point of view so you in turn might have a sense of mine or others in general.

Think deeply and spiritually about yourself and your connection with your god, feels good doesn't it?? You feel it within your chest, your whole inner being, you cannot really define where it comes from and what fuels it. I am sure I feel a similar thing, only I don’t see reason to attribute it to anything that is not a part of me already. I see no supernatural connection to a deity which provides me with love and guidance. I call it intuition, self confidence, a love of life, and... well, I guess I couldn’t define myself in words just like you cannot define yourself and connection to god.

Now, hypothetically, what if you were Muslim? What if you were Wiccan?

What if “hypothetical you” believed in a different manner than the “real you”, but with the same conviction you believe in your trinity? I realize you cannot fully fathom these things just as you cannot fathom faith in no intelligent designer... But I am trying to draw a correlation so you can simply relate to the conviction behind the belief.

Now, think about those people in our society which are of a different faith than you and I.

Do you desire to deny them the right to voice their beliefs, aka, alternate “damaging” options to the Christian faith? I truly hope you don’t, and that you are merely speaking out of anger and frustration, but I would like a response.

Do you view equally, all opposing rationalizations of the universe, religion, salvation, gods, heaven, and hell as abominations to the Christian faith? Should they be censored as a result?

Real Deal wrote: The reason I describe this site as "damaging" should be obvious....if I were a non Christian and someone directed me to this site, it would only justify and help me rationalize why NOT to place my faith in The Lord Jesus.

So what? If they are asking ME this is the site they will get. If they ask YOU, they will more than likely get some site biased to your point of view and personal flavor of Christianity. Each is damaging to the other to different degrees, just as they are both damaging to any other of the aforementioned faiths. To attempt to declare one side of an argument completely worthless simply because it “damages” your side argument merely reinforces the validity of the opposing view.

Real Deal wrote: ”Also to those having doubts, struggles, hard times, or just genuine questions abouth christianity...you paint the picture here that life without Christ is not only OK..but you put up a false facade proclaiming how "free" you all feel now that you have renounced the God that gave you your very breath.

I call that damaging”


We live in a world of endless ideas; sooner or later you will realize that we cannot be carbon copies of one another in every aspect. You see your experiences as evidence for your system of belief, but then arrogantly expect everyone else to fall into line and think the same way without challenge... I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your perception of existence, no matter what god governs it, is yours and yours alone. At least have the common decency to look around and notice that each individual is entitled to his or her own little life experience and perceptions of the world. If hearing someone else voice their opinion on their perception of reality fractures, or “damages” your own, you probably are fairly impressionable and still have much to learn in many more areas besides the one you are already biased to.

Why should your point of view be the only one, when it is obviously not the only one?

Why shouldn’t I be happy and free with my departure from something that did not work for me, and into a mode of thought that does? What would lead you to believe that we have some sort of false façade of personal freedom and how could you possibly make that determination for someone other than yourself?

Life without Jesus and God suits me just fine, it is definitely ok. Compare it to your life without Zeus and Osiris, and maybe you will get the idea. We definitely don’t see eye to eye on the subject, but I believe a faithless but logical system is a perfectly good alternative to your system built on faith alone.

This brings me to my next point, the value of this website.

I’m not sure where you are from, but in these United States, I am sure you are aware that you can go to most any town and find a Christian church; sometimes you can find a dozen or more. I live in the middle of nowhere on a one lane dead end road and there are 3 less than 10 minutes away. I am also sure you are aware that the Federal, State, and Local governments upwards of 90% Christian. I would venture that you probably have caught a few Protestant and Catholic channels on the boob tube or heard them on the radio, in English or Spanish. Seems there is no lack of venue for Christianity these days. Shouldn’t we have our forum as well?

I concede that our country has been strongly influenced by Christianity, but it is the diversity we enjoy today that is a testament to the vision that our country was founded upon. Years ago, if we were to voice our opinions in a comparable forum, we could be horribly tortured or killed for blasphemy, heresy, or witchcraft. It is by the grace of the beautiful evolution of our country, that we have divided the church and state to prevent such mistakes for happening again. No longer are we summarily dealt with as similar individuals were in the dark ages if you went against the grain of the theocracy.

Do you think that we should move backward to persecution of people for their beliefs?

Are you glad, even though you find our website damaging to your point of view, that we are allowed to voice our opinions??

Shouldn’t we all value forums like this one, allowing any man or woman to sort thru and research all information that is available so they can determine what life means for themselves??

I think I have made my point clear, and truly look forward to your responses.

Regards,

Rot8ing Anode

Anonymous said...

Real Deal, let me be more specific in regards to Matt. 23:13. How is it, exactly, that the scribes and pharisees "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men," according to Christ himself? They should have no power whatsoever to do so, if one believes that Jesus is "the only way," as the christian church teaches. Why is heaven referred to in the present tense in said passage? Remember, Christ himself admits to this by making the statement. How do you correlate this with the doctrine of "salvation by grace?"

It appears to me as though there were some known "way" into heaven in those days that was not "Jesus saves" and Christ himself honors said "way." How do you explain this?

Anonymous said...

I don't see your point. What exactly is the "intent" of 23:13, as you put it? Can you summarize this?

Anonymous said...

Bear in mind, that the christian church teaches that Jesus is the only "way" into heaven. What "way" could there have been that Christ himself recognizes and admits to by making said statement, that is, Matt. 23:13?

Anonymous said...

I still say christianity is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Rot8ing Anode,
I give you my Ben Franklin award for journalism. I even read your post twice.

I watched Larry King interview Billy Graham last night, and was thinking I would hear something original from a guy who has become known all over the world, and has been the pastor to the presidents. What I did hear was an old man spouting a few of the old worn out Christian phrases, but totally unable to answer even one hard question without referring it to God. He admitted to having mellowed since his earlier days when he was preaching fire and brimstone.

I saw an old man who desperately wants to believe in his vision of heaven, because he like some of us is near the end of his life. He comes across as likable and genuine, but pathetic in the sense that it is obvious that he doesn't know any more about God than anyone else. I find that acceptable though, because it reinforces my agnosticism. Old Billy had a good life, has a lot of kids and grand kids, obviously plenty of money, and is adored by millions.

I, like you though, live out in the middle of no where at the end of a dirt road, and nobody knows me. I am surrounded by Christian Churches. Here in Baptist land it is hard to find many people who don't have at least some vague belief in Jesus and Satan, and Hell and sin.

Also like you I am glad I live in the good OLE US of A, where people like Ben Franklin, and his contemporaries had the vision and courage to create a government where each person is free to believe what ever he wants as long as it doesn't hurt the health and welfare of his neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anode,
Nice to meet you. You wrote:
You are in the wrong place if you are looking for single-mindedness and agreement in lock step.

I understand this...and I am not expecting agreement, since this is a website of ex-christians.
I was intially a bit taken back by the ferocity of the seeming hatred ( not just dislike,dis-taste or disagreement).. with christianity and christians)..but I am over that now. I understand that when people have been hurt, let down, and dissappointed in a life-long belief or long-held value...we all naturally tend to take a dim veiw on anything or anyone that reminds us of our former trust or belief system that let us down.

You also wrote:
"Now, think about those people in our society which are of a different faith than you and I.
Do you desire to deny them the right to voice their beliefs, aka, alternate “damaging” options to the Christian faith? I truly hope you don’t, and that you are merely speaking out of anger and frustration, but I would like a response.

Do you view equally, all opposing rationalizations of the universe, religion, salvation, gods, heaven, and hell as abominations to the Christian faith? Should they be censored as a result?


All very good questions.
I certainly do understand that there are a an almost endless variety of beliefs on the Planet.
Now...and in the past.

I would never vote for censoring or eliminating them to their right of freewill and free choice, and the right to voice, espouse and otherwise demonstarte their faith...what ever it may be...as long as their faith and/or beliefs does not hurt, limit or otherwise infringe upon my right to do the same

I do NOT view them as the same however...because my Savior The Lord Jesus, was a real historical person, with plenty of extra Biblical records to demonstrate that He indeed lived, performed miracles, and then arose from the dead, leaving an empty Tomb.

As the webmaster, and many here no doubt know...this is the cornerstone and Pillar of our faith.

Had Jesus not been able to do what the other leaders of religion throughout mankinds history could not do ( overcome death and return to be seen by thousands) I would have to then seriously reconsider my Faith.

Now having just made that statement I can bet there are plenty here that have encountered this claim before, and (if interested in our discussion), will no doubt post links and references as to cast doubt that Jesus really did rise from the dead.

I have no problem with that...as long as they realize that if they are going to try and prove things like "Jesus never really lived" or "Jesus didnt rise from the dead"..etc..
be prepared..I too have heard and read all those arguments before. I have many good sources besides the Bible that, to make a long story short simply state...if anyone is going to attack the historical record of the Life and reality of what Jesus did on Earth...be ready to tell me how you can also know and believe that other historical figures ever existed.
( Just warning those of you in advance..I know some of the arguments against the reality of Jesus being a real person, and I also know we have more extra-biblical records to demonstrate his existance, miraculous life, death and victory over death...than may other facts we except withour question, based on far fewer actual records and writings.

You also wrote:
"This brings me to my next point, the value of this website.

I’m not sure where you are from, but in these United States, I am sure you are aware that you can go to most any town and find a Christian church; sometimes you can find a dozen or more. I live in the middle of nowhere on a one lane dead end road and there are 3 less than 10 minutes away. I am also sure you are aware that the Federal, State, and Local governments upwards of 90% Christian. I would venture that you probably have caught a few Protestant and Catholic channels on the boob tube or heard them on the radio, in English or Spanish. Seems there is no lack of venue for Christianity these days. Shouldn’t we have our forum as well?

I concede that our country has been strongly influenced by Christianity, but it is the diversity we enjoy today that is a testament to the vision that our country was founded upon. Years ago, if we were to voice our opinions in a comparable forum, we could be horribly tortured or killed for blasphemy, heresy, or witchcraft. It is by the grace of the beautiful evolution of our country, that we have divided the church and state to prevent such mistakes for happening again. No longer are we summarily dealt with as similar individuals were in the dark ages if you went against the grain of the theocracy.

Do you think that we should move backward to persecution of people for their beliefs?

Are you glad, even though you find our website damaging to your point of view, that we are allowed to voice our opinions??

Shouldn’t we all value forums like this one, allowing any man or woman to sort thru and research all information that is available so they can determine what life means for themselves??

I think I have made my point clear, and truly look forward to your responses.


You clearly have every right to have websites, clubs, groups and other ways of expressing your exchristian beliefs.

I am grateful that we are in the present, not the past..where such outspoken beliefs on both of our part( depending on which time period we lived) were often censored, and cruelly forced to silence. I have no desire to return to the Dark Ages..nor the ungody actions of the Roman Cathloic Church with its atrocities, hypocricies and man-made religion of tradition and nonsense.

"Sorting through all the information" as you put it is the right thing to do.

Every person is entitled to make their own decision about life's 3 Basic questions:
"Who am I...Where did I come from...and Where am I going?"

I have found many ( not all) the answers to these questions in the God of the Bible...and a personal faith in Jesus Christ.

I still have many un-answered questions I would like answered in this life or the next... but would YOU deny me my right to openly pledge and defend my faith and belief on this forum?

I hope not.

I also hope webmaster does not block me or bar me from his site...though he has the right to do so.

I enjoy debating..and It would be great if I could serve to defend christianity and maybe answer some question on this site from a genuine heart and desire to help restore someones hope in an Eternal God who created us, and wants us to have fellowship with Him.

Sincerly,
The Real Deal

webmdave said...

RD said: "but would YOU deny me my right to openly pledge and defend my faith and belief on this forum?"

...

I also hope webmaster does not block me or bar me from his site...though he has the right to do so."


Just for the record, you have no "right" to post on this site, anymore than you have the "right" to see your opinions appear in magazines, on television, or on the radio.

You have the "right" to publish your own newspaper, start your own broadcast company, or fire up a megaphone. Then, if you are in a free or democratic country, you would have the "right" to use those forums to say just about anything you desired, as long as it didn't violate any governmental laws.

My point?

You are mistaken about having a "right" to post on anyone's website other than your own. You may have permission to do post on other sites, but you certainly cannot claim rights.

You've just made a glaring error in judgement and dogmatically stated something that is not true: that you have a right to post here. At the same time you contradicted yourself by acknowledging that I have the right to stop you from posting (this part of your statement is true).

Error mixed with truth. Apparently even Holy Spirit filled "REAL DEAL" believers can make conceptual errors in the way they filter reality, even simple reality.

So, I am thinking, if RD can make such blatantly obvious flawed assumptions, and then easily spout them with a dogmatic self-assurance... well, what else in his thinking might be in error?

Anonymous said...

.:webmaster:. said...

Just for the record, you have no "right" to post on this site, anymore than you have the "right" to see your opinions appear in magazines, on television, or on the radio.

You are so correct! The difference between this website, and EVERY
fundie xtian website I have ever visited is that the webmaster here lets people with other ideas post here. The xtian sites WILL NOT post non-xtian ideas. Why? Because they are afraid to do so.

Xtianity is so fragile and flawed that followers never allow open discussion, although they foist their myth on everyone. So typical, so very closed minded.

Are these morons unable to see this? It is really remarkable to me. Of course this is not uncommon within many religions. Just look at the religious state of Iran. Xtians in the United States want to have an xtian religious state, no open discussions, just right wing dogma. So very infantile.


Onanite

Anonymous said...

Webmaster..you wrote:
You are mistaken about having a "right" to post on anyone's website other than your own. You may have permission to do post on other sites, but you certainly cannot claim rights.

You've just made a glaring error in judgement and dogmatically stated something that is not true: that you have a right to post here. At the same time you contradicted yourself by acknowledging that I have the right to stop you from posting (this part of your statement is true).


You are correct...that was a mispeak on my part.
"Permission" is a much more accurate word.

BTW...I read your profile...and we live in the same state...

small World eh?

RD

Jim Arvo said...

This is a reply to Real Deals's (RD's) post on 12/24/2005. (I see I've fallen quite far behind in this thread...)

RD: "I chose this for you Jim Arvo, as a fine example of the 'inteligent discussion' you state represents this website."

That's a rather poor paraphrasing of what I said. Here are my exact words: "If you take the time to read some of the many MANY things that are written here, you will find a great many people who are thoughtful, educated, and responsible." Thus, displaying what you perceive to be a counterexample is pointless. Moreover, I don't think the example you chose is even a counterexample.

RD: "Surely being an educated man you can almost 'feel' the venom and bitterness dripping from Onanite's words."

Please make no such assertions about what I feel as they are likely to bear no relationship to reality. You know virtually nothing about me, particularly about what I feel.

My reaction to the above post is this: it is a strongly-worded rebuke mainly of Christianity in general, which most assuredly does warrant a great deal of criticism. Would I state things as strongly or as categorically as Onanite? Typically not, but that's merely a difference in style. I do agree with many of the sentiments expressed by Onanite, however. As for "venom" or "bitterness" or "hatred", that's pure hyperbole. Again I am left to wonder whether you can distinguish between sharp criticism and hate. There is a world of difference.

RD: "I have not had time to read much of this site...and yes I have alot of catching up to do..but it is evident that the webmaster has found a way to invite others to share in his dislike of the Faith he once held dear."

Have you read the webmaster's post regarding the purpose of this site? It seems to me that one of the following must be so: 1) you have not read it, 2) you chose to disregard it, or 3) you do not take the webmaster at his word. (It's possible I'm missing an alternative; I do not claim the list to be exhaustive.) At any rate, you have not acknowledged the clearly stated purpose of this site, which is to assist those who have *already chosen* to leave Christianity, and who are finding it a difficult transition for any number of reasons (e.g. negative reaction of friends and family).

RD: "It must give him a sense of security knowing that others can voice their own disapproval and hatred for Christ."

That's an unnecessarily disparaging remark. Why do you feel it necessary to level such attacks, particularly as you (presumably) do not even know the man personally? Moreover, the assertion that one would disapprove of or even hate an entity that one believes mythical is a non sequitur. Do you hate Zeus or Mithra or Isis? Would it be possible for you to hate an entity that you do not believe exists? If you can, please elaborate, because I cannot presently make sense of such a position.

I'm also perplexed as to why you (and countless other Christian visitors here) cannot simply address the plain and simple fact that we DO NOT BELIEVE in such things as your divine savior, his "father", or his evil adversary. This is (once again) for the plain and simple reason that we've come to realize that there is no credible evidence for such things. In fact, your religion seems no different than any other in this regard. Are we under some obligation to believe in something for which we see no evidence? Do you feel an obligation to believe in Zeus or poltergeists?

RD: "But that is only a guess."

Yes, and a wrong one.

RD: "You ( and several others) have aske me to step back and see 'how silly' the christian faith is....fair enough."

You are either mistaken, or you've produced an extremely poor paraphrasing of something I said. Either way, I have no idea what you're referring to. I don't recall referring to Christianity as "silly"; however, in my opinion it is based upon and vigorously promotes non-critical thinking.

RD: "Are YOU objective enough to do the same when reading the comments on this site?"

I'm not clear on what you are asking, but I'll take a stab at answering anyway. First, I do not claim to be totally objective for the simple reason that I am a human being. Both science and direct experience have confirmed for me that the human mind traffics in quick and often erroneous judgments, and is specifically tuned for social interaction. However, given that inherent limitation, I do try my level best to mitigate my own biases as best I can. One way in which I do so is to study many different points of view, particularly those I an prone to reject. Thus, it would seem that my answer to your question should be a qualified "yes".

Anonymous said...

Dave8: "I like the location of the comment block now :-)"

I set my "text size" to largest, on my IE/View drop down menu, and it created the "leave your comment" dialogue block to the bottom of my ID Window... When I had my web page text size smaller, the "leave your comment" dialogue block floated to the top of the thread in a second column to the right... much more confusing in that mode to cut and paste from... Anyway, just wanted to say, that putting the text size to the largest mode, is more efficient for keeping track of posts, at least for me...

Anonymous said...

Real Deal,

Well, just as Christianity has its fanatics who are willing to hate for Jesus, there are folks around here who get quite involved with opposing the bible. What do you expect when most all of us were damaged by Christianity and the followers of it? Flip the coin, if I were to go on a Christian site where I knew I didn't belong, and attempt to sell a viewpoint other than that of a Christian, would I not meet with fierce resistance? You are simply getting what you asked for, don't be surprised when some of the threads you read contain a bit of venom.

Now the original intent of this thread was to determine if all of us here got the real gospel before we turned away from the fold. I have read the bible, and it just doesn't hold water within itself, not to mention when you throw in actual geological, palentological and secular history of the same day and age with modern understanding. So yes, I would tend to believe we all got the same stories, but it is the actual analysis of the stories along with facts from other sources that the difference lies. I doubt many of us were damaged by the gospels themselves, our intelligence may have been insulted, but true damage is more than likely a result of the men surrounding the religion. You could select any religion, and taken with the correct perception, it could motivate you towards leading a good life, but it could also motivate you to strap a bomb to your chest and detonate yourself as part of a war on all other modes of thought. Remember my first post, all perceptions differ, and trying to get any 2 people to interpret a book as cryptic as the bible with a like mind is nearly impossible... Even within Christianity, the different denominations and interpretations are proof that the faithful are still confused on what to believe. Why would I even attempt to accept a system that hasn’t figured itself out in 2000 years?

It is here where I personally reject Christianity. I look back at thousands of years of history, and see the religious strife that has occurred... For no other reason than to claim that your faith is “right” and chosen by an unseen deity. I'm just going out on a limb here, but shouldn't one of the axioms of any religion be one of peace, love, and making this world better instead of worse? I am sure that you are going to claim that those three things are primary concerns of Christianity, but the track record says otherwise. We have found many less complicated ways of being a good person, loving your neighbor, and generating meaning for your life other than trying to sort thru ancient stories for meaning and stringing them together with dozens of leaps in faith (ID, then Jewish god, talking animals, gods impregnating humans, Jesus, resurrection, heaven, & hell… to paraphrase and name only a few leaps).

I am curious though; about what exactly you base your faith upon and challenge it with, do you challenge it at all? I feel there are 2 “flavors” of Christian, those who take the bible as literal and infallible, and those who see it as being a mix of parable and history from the point of view of the authors. Do you subscribe to the young earth concept; do you buy into a global flood circa 2349 BCE? Essentially, do you allow scientific, geological, and secular history from the day and age into your view of reality, or is the bible it, end of discussion? What flavor, and denomination, and which version of the bible is the correct one in your eyes?

What ever the mixture of faith you are, can you not see that on this website, for countless reasons, no matter how you preach and attempt to interpret the bible, you are wrong and will never be right? Honestly, attempting a pro-Christian debate on an ex-Christian website seems pretty futile. Maybe you want to feel like a crusader, a hero for Jesus? Maybe you are a glutton for punishment? What personal gain do you receive from being here, knowing full well you are just stirring up hornets? Would you want me to come into your sanctuary and insult your god with blasphemous sermons?

What ever happened to the golden rule?

Does that rule somehow not apply here, or do you want people to challenge your beliefs as you attempt to challenge ours? It is obviously one or the other.

Anonymous said...

Jim Arvo ,
You wrote to Real Deal, saying:

"You are either mistaken, or you've produced an extremely poor paraphrasing of something I said. Either way, I have no idea what you're referring to. I don't recall referring to Christianity as "silly"; however, in my opinion it is based upon and vigorously promotes non-critical thinking"

Jim, that was me who referred to Christianity as "silly" I do it all the time because concepts like Satan, and sin, and God sitting up there in heaven, writhing in ecstasy every time one of us intelligent "Chimps," tells him how wonderful he is, seems, well, just silly to me. The crucifixion story that Christians hang their whole faith on seems even sillier to me in the light of rational examination.

The fact that a God would make us almost exactly like a chimpanzee, and say we are made in his Likeness is really pretty silly when you think about it.

And then this same God who can do anything he want's and knows everything, decides three thousand years later that he fucked up and made us with a proclivity towards evil, comes up with a story that is suspiciously comparable to many pagan stories that preceded it, about how he mysteriously, via a holy spirit of some kind, will make one of his female creations pregnant, so he can have a son (who for some strange reason he calls his "only son"), and arrange to have him murdered as a sacrifice to himself, and this somehow fixes everything.

Wait! It gets even SILLIER! He then proclaims that this child is somehow really him, and says he created him because he loves us. But it gets even sillier. He then says we have to believe this SILLY story, in order to get to heaven, and if we don't we will be fried forever and ever, along with a couple of billion other of his children who never had the pleasure of hearing or understanding this SILLY concept.

The bad thing is, he constructed a system here on earth where the smartest people survive better than dumb people. They make more money, eat better, attract sexier women, solve problems better, live longer, and in general throughout evolutionary history have been favored by natural selection. These are the same people who look at religion and mysticism analytically, and it appears SILLY to them.

Well, that probably isn't really completely true, because there are plenty of "Believers" out there, procreating like crazy and living high on the hog. For instance..... (fill in your favorite televangelist or preacher)

Anonymous said...

Hey "Real Deal!" Did you read my last post? It is apparent to me that Christ is admitting to the fact that there is some "way" into heaven that is not "Jesus saves," and the scribes and pharisees have the power to keep men out of heaven, or as he put it, "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men." He also refers to the "kingdom of heaven" in the present tense by saying, "for ye neither go in yourselves..."

The surrounding passages are irrelevant. My point has been made, and you've yet to answer it. When and if you manage to do so, I've got plenty of others for you to answer. Remember, the fate of my soul hangs in the balance! You must convince me that christianity is anything but the fraud that it appears to be or I'll suffer a burning fiery eternal torment! Hahaha.

What a joke.

Christianity is a fraud.

Anonymous said...

On another note, if anybody wants to see a long list of christian denominations, I've found a website which lists a bunch of them: www.therfcc.org/list-of-christian-denominations-14481.html.

The list shows hundreds of denominations.

The fact that there are so many denominations of christianity makes it obvious that christians are unable to understand the bible and disagree over its correct interpretation. The only thing they agree on is "Jesus." How sad.

The bible is a screwed up mess.

Anonymous said...

slingshot wrote:

Hey "Real Deal!" Did you read my last post? It is apparent to me that Christ is admitting to the fact that there is some "way" into heaven that is not "Jesus saves," and the scribes and pharisees have the power to keep men out of heaven, or as he put it, "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men." He also refers to the "kingdom of heaven" in the present tense by saying, "for ye neither go in yourselves..."

The surrounding passages are irrelevant

***************************

Dear Slingshot,
Jesus was still in the flesh while making these comments. The Crucifixtion and Resurrection had not yet occurred...that is why Jesus rebuked them...they were mis-leading people under the Mosaic Law

Jesus had not yet died for their sins yet...nor proclaimed "It is Finished...therebye establishing the Way men and women were to be saved from that time forward.

As has always been mankinds pattern, God gives us something good ( the Law) and our depraved human nature finds a way to mess it upor exploit it.

Here is a good pasage written by the Apostle Paul that explains the change-over from the Law of Moses to Faith in Jesus as the Way to Heaven

Acts 17:30
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

17:31
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.


You see God is Ultimtely Fair and Completely Just. He gives ample opportunity for His Creation to get to know Him~

"Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:


Never let anyone mislead you that God allows people to enter into Eternity without having multiple chances to recognize Him for who He is.
Creation Itself point to an Intelligent Creator

Our Complex Human Anatomy proclaims His Wisdom and Knowledge

Being made in His Image, we share many of His Attributes ( the ability to love, show compassion,create, imagine,etc...)

Hope this helped.

RD

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Dano,

I agree with you completely; Christianity is rife with absurdity; I've listed many of the same things you have dozens of times. I liken the stories of the Bible to something the Brothers Grim dreamed up, only they are neither as benign nor as clever. I simply dislike it when I am misquoted by others. If somebody is going to attack my position, they should feel some obligation to at least quote or paraphrase what I said accurately.

And that serves as a (somewhat labored) segue into what RD later said: "You see God is Ultimtely Fair and Completely Just. He gives ample opportunity for His Creation to get to know Him~"

Ultimately Fair and Completely Just you say? So then, slaughtering entire populations, demanding that men, women, children, and even animals be dashed to pieces, then plundering villages, all of that is both fair and just? Stoning disobedient children, adulterers, and homosexuals to death is both fair and just? Ah, but that was the OLD covenant, right? All of that has been superseded by the grand new idea of grace. Apparently god chose to wait thousands of years before instituting this bold new innovation, wallowing in blood until then. Even if one accepts the idea of a new covenant (which, by the way, is contradicted by Jesus in Matthew 5:17-20, which includes the "jot and tittle" passage), that still leaves the question of god's ghastly behavior prior to that. Did not god declare himself to be unchanging?

As for "getting to know Him", I see several possible avenues: 1) scripture, 2) revelation, and 3) natural theology. Of course, each of these topics requires a book-length treatment to do it justice, but suffice it for the present discussion to say that not one of these carries a weight that is distinguishable from zero, in my opinion. First, scripture. Along side a few pearls of wisdom and a few passages with literary merit, Christian scripture is bursting with absurdity, vulgarity, grisly violence, treachery, and downright puerile behavior. (See Dano's comments above for starters.) The history of its conception and it's very pages betray midrashic invention and mythical embellishment over time (if one bothers to organize the chapters chronologically), not to mention extensive borrowing of popular motifs from more ancient religions. As for revelation, every religion, as well as thousands of other outlandish belief systems, all claim to derive some authority from the private experiences of a few individuals. History is replete with examples of how weak that form of evidence is. Finally, natural theology is little more than an exercise in wishful thinking; pointing to things we do not yet fully understand and declaring "There be God!".

In short, your god has chosen to "reveal" himself in the most peculiar way, by lurking amid all of the LEAST TRUSTWORTHY forms of human thinking and communication: tradition, ancient (largely anonymous) texts, numinous feelings, self-appointed messengers, and ignorance (i.e. within the gaps of what is currently known through science). If not for the enormous impact that Christianity exerts on society, I would not waste my time studying it or discussing it. I would give it no more credence than a Brothers Grim fairy tale.

Anonymous said...

Mr Arvo,
I am curious...I when you look around a the vast Earth, the Heavens ( Planets, Solar Systems, etc...) does it now, or has it ever inspired you to seek out the Creator of such a complex existance?

I understand and accept that the Christian Faith was not the answer that you were seeking...but what was?

I am just curious, in my line of work I am usualy interacting with other believers...or if not, other than sharing my faith in deeds and words, I rarely get the chance to here the reasons for denying a Divine Creator. That is partly what interests me most about this website.
It allows me the chance to hear honest, straight forward, no-holds-barred facts and feelings about the Questions of Life.

If you get a chance..I would be interested in your World View, considering all the Emperical evidence that Something or Someone created all of this.

RD

Anonymous said...

Hey, "Real Deal," if, as you say, they were misleading people regarding the kingdom of heaven, why, again, does Christ honor them with his statement? He does not say that they are misleading people, he said that they had "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men." He apparently is admitting that they are able to "shut up the kingdom of heaven," period. You are interpreting the passage errantly in order to make it fit your false doctrine of "salvation by grace," which, by the way, appears in the NT, not in the gospels, in case you hadn't noticed.

Again, he said the "kingdom of heaven," not some "false kingdom of heaven."

Even if what you say is true, that they were msileading people and the only way to heaven is "accept Christ," then, what is the eternal fate of those who lived before Christ? Eternity in hell?

Why, again, does Christ refer to the kingdom of heaven in the present tense?

Finally, even if what you say is true, then what is your purpose here at ex-christian.net? To convince us to "accept Jesus?" Being ex-christians, we have already done that! Are we not "saved," according to your beliefs? Do we need to "accept Jesus" again? Do you mind if we are honest with ourselves when we read the bible? Must we twist passages in order to fit the false doctrine of "salvation by grace," as christians do?

Remember, this is the internet. The whole world is watching.

Christian theology is absurd.

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "I am curious...I when you look around a the vast Earth, the Heavens ( Planets, Solar Systems, etc...) does it now, or has it ever inspired you to seek out the Creator of such a complex existance?"

Let me start by asking you several similar questions, which will actually contain within them an answer to yours. When you see a shooting star, are you not the least bit curious about the fairies that are pushing it along? When you hear thunder, have you never acknowledged Zeus?

You see, your very question is built upon the *premise* that there is a creator; it is therefore a "complex question" in that it not only seeks an answer to the overt question, but an implicit affirmation of your "Creator" as well. So, to answer your question I must first disentangle it from all such prior assumptions. If I rephrase your question as follows "Has the complexity of the universe ever inspired you to figure out how it came to be that way", the answer is a resounding "Yes". I have avidly studied philosophy, religion, science, and mathematics my entire life.

RD: "I understand and accept that the Christian Faith was not the answer that you were seeking...but what was?"

Again, you ask a "complex question" with a hidden agenda. You infer that since Christianity did not match some prior criterion of mine, I rejected it on that basis. The truth is, my only "agenda" is to discern what is actually "true" as best I can with the tools that are available to me: namely reason, research, experimentation, debate, etc.

You also put the cart squarely before the horse when you ask what ANSWER I was seeking. Do you not see that that is backwards? If I set out to affirm a specific ANSWER, then I would be doing little more than catering to a prejudice. While we are all susceptible to doing this (e.g. confirmation bias), it has been a lifelong objective of mine to mitigate such biases as best I can, and to let reason and evidence direct me to the answers.

RD: "I am just curious, in my line of work I am usualy interacting with other believers...or if not, other than sharing my faith in deeds and words, I rarely get the chance to here the reasons for denying a Divine Creator."

Thank you for offering that information. I truly do not wish to sound smug, but I did suspect that you have had little contact with those who are sceptical of your beliefs. I say that because of the phrasing of your questions; each one is leading, and would be objected to in casual conversations with non-believers. Your sentence above is yet another example. I do not "deny" a divine creator; I have simply never seen ANY credible evidence for such a thing, hence I have no reason to believe such an entity exists. Do you see the difference? Please take a moment and mull that over, because it's very important. If you can bring yourself to phrase the question more fairly, you will have taken a step toward understanding a different point of view. Let me suggest that you ask it this way "Why do you not believe in the divine creator that I believe in?" Or better yet, try this "I think that X is evidence of a divine creator. Do you accept that as valid evidence?"

RD: "That is partly what interests me most about this website. It allows me the chance to hear honest, straight forward, no-holds-barred facts and feelings about the Questions of Life."

Amen. (So to speak.)

RD: "If you get a chance..I would be interested in your World View, considering all the Emperical evidence that Something or Someone created all of this."

Rather than answer that question immediately, I'm going to turn it into a little quiz for you. Do you see anything wrong your phrasing of that question? Why don't you take a crack at re-expressing it; then I'll be happy to answer it at length.

Anonymous said...

Remember, RD, we don't believe in christianity here. You must convince us that it is for real, since you are the one who believes it.

Anonymous said...

RD, you also said that Acts 17:30 and 17:31 show how God changed the law of Moses to faith in Jesus as the way to heaven. They do not. Acts 17:30 "now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." You are suggesting that to "repent" is to "accept Jesus." Why, when Christ uses the word "repent," does it mean to "stop committing sin?"

Again, it appears as though you are twisting scripture to fit your false doctrine of "salvation by grace."

Anonymous said...

I'd like to take a moment to remind those who are reading this post as to what the christian doctrine of "salvation by grace" is.

Humanity is born into "sin," being the descendants of the first man and the first woman, who committed the "original sin," for which God cast them out of paradise and into the wild world around them. "Sin" is any action or word that displeases God. Once born into "sin," we then go on to commit "sin" and God hates us for this and so will condemn us to eternal torment, worse than anything one may imagine. Again, that is ETERNAL torment.

At some point God devises a plan of "salvation" and sends "His only Son" into the world to die a horrible death on a cross so that, somehow, a persons "sins" are forgiven, but only if that person "accepts Christ" as their saviour. The moment one "accepts Christ," one is "saved" from eternal torment and will instead spend eternity in heaven with God, "His" angels, and of course, Jesus Christ. It is by "accepting Christ" that one is assured a place in heaven forever, not by "repenting" of "sin." Being "sinners," this is our only hope of going to heaven. The person who "accepts Jesus," will go to heaven when he or she dies, or, as some christian denominations teach, come "judgement day," going into a state of limbo after death instead. This is commonly known as God's "free gift of salvation." The person who "accepts Jesus" need not "repent" of sin (stop committing it), although we are instructed to do so. One may "accept Jesus" on ones deathbed, having lived a sinful life, and still go to heaven after dying. It is by performing the ritual of "accepting Jesus" that one is assured a place in heaven. Being "sinners" and born that way, it is our only hope of going to heaven.

It seems as though we are somehow helpless to our sin, yet obviously we are entirely able to stop committing it. How this works is beyond me.

RD, again, why are you even here? We here have "accepted Jesus!" Shouldn't you be spending your time on earth elsewhere trying to "save" souls from eternal damnation? How can you live with yourself wasting your time here? Think of all those souls that will perish because of you!

I see the bible for what it is. Christians twist its passages to fit their false doctrine of "salvation by grace."

Anonymous said...

Real Deal.
What if? The force that created us is so omnipotent that it created us without the capability of us understanding how. Maybe the real test here is to see if we can look at the evidence and say "Gee we have evolved from just one molecule that somehow learned to reproduce itself" How fascinating!

Since knowledge of our natural world has increased at an exponential rate of speed, since Mr. Darwin started the process of revealing this to us, along with what some of our other ancestors figured out,: I. E. Copernicus, Galileo, and the others who were tortured, and murdered for the crime of saying things that weren't taught by the "Religious shamans who were currently in power," we have become enlightened.

What if the next big leap forward is a complete abandonment of explaining things with mystical stories, and we as a species, stop making stuff up, all the religious teachers take off their funny clothes, we make homeless shelters out of the churches, everybody gives 10% to the poor, we stop feeling guilty about being the smartest animals at the top of the food chain, and we just start looking at the evidence.

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one"
John Lennon

Anonymous said...

RD, like so many here, my story may be summed up briefly. I became a christian, then as I read the bible more and more I came to believe in christianity less and less. I now want to be entirely free of christianity. That is why we meet here. To help set each other free of your nonsensical religion.

Christian theology is absurd.

Anonymous said...

There's too much nonsense in christianity for me.

Anonymous said...

The doctrine of "salvation by grace" is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Another thing. People are so divided over the correct interpretation of the majority of bible passages that they cannot even talk about them. I once discussed one single passage with two people and found that we all disagreed on its meaning. The passages are often mysterious and cryptic. It's to each their own on that book. Christians, obviously, agree on one thing, the doctrine of "salvation by grace." There are those who read it and disagree, as evidenced by this website.

Interestingly enough, the internet has allowed this sort of website to exist. I wonder how many non-believers came before us and died alone in their disbelief? I think that's tragic, really.

Anonymous said...

nonexChristian: "Can someone explain to me the objective measurable harm that has come from Christianity?"

Others have already obliged, but let me add a few things. Let's start with how the ancient Hellenes (the Greeks who tried to stick to their religion) were treated by the early Christians. See
- http://www.greatlie.com/en/articles.cfm?action=detail&id=21
- http://www.ysee.gr/index-eng.php?type=english&f=lovestories
Yes, the Christians ended ancient Greece, cause they hated its culture and its literacy.

And now let's look at just a glimpse of Christianity in action today:
- http://faculty.vassar.edu/tilongma/Church&Genocide.html
"Christian Churches and Genocide in Rwanda", Vassar College paper on Genocide
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/717775.stm
Church backing rebels somewhere in South Asia, BBC news
- http://www.eco-action.org/mission/akha1.html
"Sterilization and Blood Theft By Missionaries" Sterilisation of tribal women in Burma
- www.eco-action.org/mission/belief.html
About Christian missionaries operating in West Guinea, says "Missionaries are actually in essence terrorists". In my opinion, they're free to include all those who donate to Christian charities, because they are all missionary charities, some just wait before trying to convert.

So back to your question NonExChristian. Objective measurable harm you ask? Does the end of ancient cultures count as objective and measurable? Greece in the past and now others too. But I can guess your response: "they are not True Christians". Not even the early church fathers you did ALL THAT to Greece? Then were there ever True Christians?

And about Nazism in Germany, refer to www.nobeliefs.com/ChurchesWWII.htm
www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm
and http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/back/hakeem/
which also includes the pogroms in Russia.

Anonymous said...

"Not even the early church fathers you did ALL THAT to Greece?"
That was meant to be "Not even the early church fathers WHO did ALL THAT to Greece?"

Anonymous said...

I believe his point was that it's the people and not the philosophy that is harmful about Christianity. Although it seems to me he forgot to read the part about a good tree not being able to bear bad fruit...

Anonymous said...

Good morning!
I hope everyone is having a good week.

Hopefully this post wil begin to answer some of the questions put to me by Jim Arvo, Slingshot,Rot8ing Anode an any others intersted.

After more reading and studying the contents of this website, I understand that I represent everything you have found lacking in your experience with the christian faith.

I understand I am a "fish out of water" so to speak on this forum.

I will try in future posts to state my position in the form of proof, facts and non-christian lingo, that most of you are already familiar with, and depsise.
(And might I add with good reason...alot of believers just parrot back phrases learned from their church or pastor, without really understanding exactley what they are saying. )

I am here because it does bother me when anyone leaves the faith.
I feel an obligation to try and win back those who have lost faith, given up..and dismissed Christianity as a viable answer to Life's Big Questions.
I hope you do not fault me for that, as I have no other agenda.

Maybe a good place to being is a link to a site I found a few years back that I believe demonstrates Science and Intellect need not be discarded when one embraces Christianity.

http://www.icr.org/

I want to acknowledge that ther are indeed fakes, phonies,dishonest and many who call themselves christians, but in their actions not only deny their faith...but bring reproach to the name of God, and to Christianity in general.

Also, it is very sad that so many "denominations" cannot agree to disagree and come together in worship and fellowship. One of the big questions I had early on was why there were so many different flavors and denominations of christianity.

My personal conclusion was that because humans beings are so varied and complexed...not everyones needs could be met by just One Single Type of the christianity.
By offering a wide range of Churches...God has allowed people to worship and fellowship together with others of like minds, interests, and Bible intepretation. So I guess denominations are good, in that they allow many venues for people to choose, in deciding where to go to Church.


I maintain however...that for me, life as a christian has been much better than life without Christ.

I have seen over the years many people truley changed by accepting Christ, and are still serving Him today. Do they have struggles, bad times,unexplainable life-events, and suffering?

Yes.
It has not caused them to give up or lose their faith. In many cases...looking back, they see how and why that particuliar experience in their life actually served to strengthen their faith, and provide them with the tools to handle similiar situations in the future.
Hindsight of course is 20/20.

So I think of it this way....when in school and the teachers hands out a TEST...they usually do not give the answers along with the test. The Test is designed to determine the pupils knowledge.

So it is with God.

Many times he "tests" us to see how far we have progressed, how much we trust Him, and where we are at that point in our life. He witholds the answers...until later....and sometimes not at all.

More later.

RD

Anonymous said...

I Forgot to post this Intro to the site I provided a Link to in my last post~

RD

ICR holds to certain tenets. By Scientific Creationism, ICR believes:
The physical universe of space, time, matter and energy has not always existed, but was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity.
The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural processes from inanimate systems but was specially and supernaturally created by the Creator.
Each of the major kinds of plants and animals was created functionally complete from the beginning and did not evolve from some other kind of organism. Changes in basic kinds since their first creation are limited to "horizontal" changes (variations) within the kinds, or "downward" changes (e.g., harmful mutations, extinctions).
The first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but were specially created in fully human form from the start. Furthermore, the "spiritual" nature of man (self-image, moral consciousness, abstract reasoning, language, will, religious nature, etc.) is itself a supernaturally created entity distinct from mere biological life.
The record of earth history, as preserved in the earth's crust, especially in the rocks and fossil deposits, is primarily a record of catastrophic intensities of natural processes, operating largely within uniform natural laws, rather than one of gradualism and relatively uniform process rates. There are many scientific evidences for a relatively recent creation of the earth and the universe, in addition to strong scientific evidence that most of the earth's fossiliferous sedimentary rocks were formed in an even more recent global hydraulic cataclysm.
Processes today operate primarily within fixed natural laws and relatively uniform process rates, but since these were themselves originally created and are daily maintained by their Creator, there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these laws or processes by their Creator. Evidences for such intervention should be scrutinized critically, however, because there must be clear and adequate reason for any such action on the part of the Creator.
The universe and life have somehow been impaired since the completion of creation, so that imperfections in structure, disease, aging, extinctions and other such phenomena are the result of "negative" changes in properties and processes occurring in an originally perfect created order.
Since the universe and its primary components were created perfect for their purposes in the beginning by a competent and volitional Creator, and since the Creator does remain active in this now decaying creation, there do exist ultimate purposes and meanings in the universe. Teleological considerations, therefore, are appropriate in scientific studies whenever they are consistent with the actual data of observation. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that the creation presently awaits the consummation of the Creator's purpose.
Although people are finite and scientific data concerning origins are always circumstantial and incomplete, the human mind (if open to the possibility of creation) is able to explore the manifestations of that Creator rationally, scientifically, and teleologically.

Anonymous said...

Having read all the correspondence from "Real Deal" (a misnomer if there ever was one), I realize that he is one of those creationists who actually believes the garbage on the ICR website. That means he has totally bought into the warped and perverse biblical worldview espoused there, and it it pointless to counter any of his arguments with either reason or logic, as he is incapable of recognizing them. He even believes that there is historical evidence for the existence of physical Jesus! His reasoning is circular, his "facts" aren't, and his inability to even recognize the fallacious nature of his arguments make him forever unreachable. I have seen his like in many places (though I admit his civility and ability to write a proper sentence separates him from the vast majority of the fundagelicals we see in here), but the apologetics are the same tired old banalities and I have not the stamina any longer to debate the faith-blinded fanatics. It is those who have arrived at a state of questioning (doubt) who are more likely to be receptive.
mizlee@AOLdotcom

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why god followers think that this is some kind of game. "Oh, it's fun to debate" they all say. Well fact of the matter is, it's tiresome. How many christians come to his site and spout the same garbage? This is an exchristian site. That means the majority of us have been there and done that and read the bible too. We know this already. That's why we rejected it in the first place. You know...RD...the bible says something about people not being ripe. I don't have my bible w/ me so I can't quote you that scripture. Since, you believe in the bible, I can use it to back up my point. So, isn't obivious to you that we aren't ripe? None of us will be, why don't you give it up. We left christianity for a reason. Some left because of so many hurt, some left because they believe that christianity is a falsehood, some left because they saw a better path to them. You can't deny our priveledge to have a support system. I, myself, am tired of the hypocracy, the holier the thou mentality. Christians have church to go to for support. We don't have an exchristian church..we have a website. This website isn't damaging. It's a support system. There has been more "words of wisdom," kind thoughts from people who actually care on this site then I ever recieved at any of the many churches I went to. So, back to what I was saying...RD stop trying to win us back we don't want to go back. RD, nonexchristian, JR, my question is how did you stumble on this site. Did you google christians suck, exchristians? Why were you looking for it to begin with? Is it maybe that you were looking for a good fight, so you could say you met your quota of witnessing to people? Or is it more likely, that you have questions that you can't answer and you were thinking about leavieg your faith behind. I think some of the christians that come to this site, were about to give up on the christianity thing, but w/ them being progammed and all maybe some of our comments gave them a righteous indignation to fight back and reply. In which case, they are in the denial stage. Okay, I need to stop this rambling, RD, NON, JR...this site was never intended for you. It was for us. Why are you so concerned w/ the damage this site can do to christians, you should be more concerned w/ the damage that the church caused. If you were concerned w/ the ladder then some of us wouldn't be posting on this site. So, my challenge, if you want to debate christianity and take around in circles fine but think about this. We have asked for proof of the existance of God. We don't believe the bible is truth. Try something new. Don't use scripture to back your point up. Don't use rebuttles that already have been tainted w/ christianity. Don't use an ICR website since it was biased. We asked for proof that isn't biased. I don't need proof. I am just trying to show you that you are wasting your time, trying to convert the deconverted on this site. You can't give us unbaised proof that God exists. So please stop trying. You are not going to win.

mj's damaged

Anonymous said...

Real Deal,
Wrote:
"After more reading and studying the contents of this website, I understand that I represent everything you have found lacking in your experience with the Christian faith."

What an arrogant ----!

You have become a cliché on this site. Every Christian who comes here ends up looking like every other Christian. You are so emotionally attached to your cult that if given the Kool Aid now, you would drink it.

You say you are going to answer our questions and then you don't answer any.
You all say it is sad that we are not like you. (Please stop telling us how sad you are)
You all say we hate Christians.( We don't hate you, we feel sorry for you, but mostly we see your attempts to witness here as funny)
You all say we are all atheists (We are not all atheists, I'm not. Some are Deists, Buddhists and many other leanings too numerous to mention. The only thing we have in common is that we have found the Christian Dogma to be unbelievable.
You all say you are going to pray for us. ( Don't pray for us. Tell God to help some of the millions of people around the world who are suffering, due to the unintelligent design of life here on this planet.)
You all say we are mean spirited. ( Baloney! We are just trying to get through to you, and keep you from wasting your life in the cult )
You say that you understand that this is an EX-CHRISTIAN website, but you just keep on witnessing.
You tell us what God wants and says, when you know Damn well he ain't told any one any thing since the beginning of time.
You have eventually gotten around to presenting Intelligent design here after it has been torn to shreds many times on this site.
The one thing all of you Christian apologists do though is, or maybe I should more accurately say Don't do, is: You don't ever seem to see or read any of the perfectly clear and concise examples of any of the absurdities of the Christian Dogma. You always answer such criticisms with more absurdities from the bible.

cdmon said...

Real Deal said: "After more reading and studying the contents of this website, I understand that I represent everything you have found lacking in your experience with the Christian faith."

The only thing that is lacking in our experience with the xian faith is the REALITY of it. If it were REAL in the first place, there would be no need to have blind faith.

This person calls himself the "Real Deal" but still has to elude blind faith to justify his deity. Perhaps he should change his name to the unreal deal.

The very fact that one needs to elude to faith to "experience" this deity, renders the reality of said deity questionable at the very least.

What you consider evidence i.e. the bible, ID... is neither empirical evidence, nor is it absolute proof of the existance of your deity.

And a deity that allegedly created us with a mind to make logical reasoning, then to demand that we agree with him and worship him or burn for eternity shows a very weak minded and childish personality for the supposed creator of life.

For this deity to reckon us worthy of hellfire the moment were are born in our infantile helplessness is severely unjust. Laying everlasting punishment upon all mankind for the supposed crimes of our ancestors, when they were impelled to commit said crimes or otherwise thwarted the so-called "divine plan" that was laid from the foundations of the earth.

To send his son, who is as old as he is, and therefore not his son to die for sins that hadn't yet been committed, by those who weren't even born yet. But was vested with immortality and could not really die or stay dead, to pay a price to himself for rules the he himself made up. *shakes head*

He said "it is finished" and the church says we were "saved by grace." Another absurd anecdote by the bible believers.

If memory serves me right, the word "grace" means unwarranted favor. Now an unwarrented favor is usually done without expecting anything in return, am I right?
As such a "gift" could never be repayed.

If in fact salvation is a gift, given by the grace of the god, who condemned mankind in the first place, then why is it that in order to receive said gift, we are required to perform a ritual, namely say the sinners prayer?

It appears that we must perform a work in order to receive. Then after that we must be baptized, and receive the holy spirit and speak in tongues. Then join a church, pay tithes, live according to what the church deems righteous... and on and on and on.... seeing the carrot dangling and constantly chasing but never really gaining it. Worrying everyday if we would lose it.

Let's put the whole thing into perspective. This fear of everlasting punishment was put into place by the church in order to control the masses and keep money coming in.

As a child, for the longest time after I found that Santa Claus does not bring me toys on Xmas. I still wanted to believe. And as an adult I still would love to believe in God. The problem is that the whole notion is childish and since he does not make personal appearances, especially at a time when the world really needs to hear from the "creator."

The problem is that there is dead silence. And without faith he does not exist. And any tangible proof that he existed would negate faith and god would disappear in a puff of logic.

And as for believing, I believed in god and Santa Claus as much as any other child did, but I grew up, I read the bible and the god of love I was taught to believe in turned into a boogie man of epic purportions. He killed women and children on a whim, and had a blood lust that would rival Hitler.

So RD, it is time to grow up, and see the absurdity of what you have been taught, and are now teaching to others. Join the real world... Oops, if you did that you'd be out of a job wouldn't you?

Cheers

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "Hopefully this post wil begin to answer some of the questions put to me by Jim Arvo, Slingshot,Rot8ing Anode an any others intersted...."

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't detect any attempt on your part to answer questions, or to absorb anything that we've been trying to explain to you.

RD: "After more reading and studying the contents of this website, I understand that I represent everything you have found lacking in your experience with the christian faith."

Exactly who are you addressing with that outlandish statement? How in the world did you reach such a grandiose assessment of yourself?

RD: "I understand I am a 'fish out of water' so to speak on this forum."

Yes, as it seems your primary purpose is to proselytize, not to learn or discuss or explain.

RD: "I will try in future posts to state my position in the form of proof, facts and non-christian lingo, that most of you are already familiar with, and depsise."

Proof? Facts? Thus far I've seen none from you. You plan to start with that in your next post?

As for your "non-christian lingo", how about using clear and appropriate terminology. We're big boys and girls here. We're probably familiar with any terminology you wish to use. And I don't understand your allegation regarding something we "despise". Are you claiming we despise the Christian "lingo" or the non-Christian "lingo" that you now plan to adhere to? Either way, how did you arrive at that conclusion? It seems to me that you are simply projecting negative emotional states onto others (for what reason I can only guess).

RD: "I feel an obligation to try and win back those who have lost faith, given up..and dismissed Christianity as a viable answer to Life's Big Questions."

You realize, of course, that such an agenda is not welcome here. If you have some intellectual arguments to make in favor of your religious views, then let's hear them; the webmaster graciously allows people of all beliefs to state their views and to air their best arguments. But if you plan to merely spout religious dogma in an attempt to undermine people's hard-won rationalism, then I'm afraid you're in for a rough time here. Each of your unfounded assertions will be challenged.

RD: "Maybe a good place to being is a link to a site I found a few years back that I believe demonstrates Science and Intellect need not be discarded when one embraces Christianity."

I am very familiar with the ICR; I began receiving their tracts (e.g. "Acts & Facts") back in the mid 1980's, I've followed their arguments & debates, and even corresponded with them on several occasions. After carefully reading and considering their material for many years I have reached the conclusion that they are absolutely intellectually bankrupt, and that they represent such entrenched intellectual dishonesty that their tactics would never be tolerated within a scientific community. In particular, they routinely invoke debunked arguments with absolutely no attempt the address the many counter-arguments arrayed against their views. They also knowingly employ erroneous or discredited data, frequently misquote scientists or quote them out of context, they publish only one-sided summaries of the debates that their representatives participate in, and they frequently misapply basic scientific principles (e.g. the second law of thermodynamics). Moreover, they habitually commit the fallacy of "special pleading"; i.e. they conveniently ignore all scientific evidence that does not point to their preordained conclusions.

RD: "...I maintain however...that for me, life as a christian has been much better than life without Christ."

And a great many have benefited by leaving Christianity. What's your point?

RD: "....when in school and the teachers hands out a TEST...they usually do not give the answers along with the test. The Test is designed to determine the pupils knowledge. So it is with God."

So god has no way of knowing how someone feels without testing them? I thought god was supposed to be omniscient.

RD: "ICR holds to certain tenets...."

You then provide a summary of the dogmatic views held by ICR, which are almost universally non-scientific in that they are maintained not only without supporting evidence, but without the POSSIBILITY of supporting evidence. That is, they are unfalsifiable.

RD: "The record of earth history, as preserved in the earth's crust, especially in the rocks and fossil deposits, is primarily a record of catastrophic intensities of natural processes,..."

That is complete rubbish. While the geological column clearly records a number of catastrophic events, there is a huge convergence of evidence to indicate that these events were LOCAL, and that they punctuated vast periods of gradual change, including the emergence and diversification of various species of animals.

RD: "There are many scientific evidences for a relatively recent creation of the earth and the universe, in addition to strong scientific evidence that most of the earth's fossiliferous sedimentary rocks were formed in an even more recent global hydraulic cataclysm."

But you neglected to make any mention of such "evidence". Are you aware of the vast amount of evidence that points to a radically different conclusion? Radiological dating, the formation of countless layers that intersperse vast forests with oceans and deserts, the record of the procession of the Earth on it's axis within magnetic deposits, etc. all point to the great antiquity of Earth (roughly 4 billion years).

I'm not going to bother responding to the rest of your post line-by-line, as you simply list a bunch of dogmatic assertions with no clue as to how you would verify a single one of them.

Anonymous said...

Cdmon, you wrote As a child, for the longest time after I found that Santa Claus does not bring me toys on Xmas. I still wanted to believe. And as an adult I still would love to believe in God. The problem is that the whole notion is childish and since he does not make personal appearances, especially at a time when the world really needs to hear from the "creator."

The problem is that there is dead silence. And without faith he does not exist. And any tangible proof that he existed would negate faith and god would disappear in a puff of logic.

And as for believing, I believed in god and Santa Claus as much as any other child did, but I grew up, I read the bible and the god of love I was taught to believe in turned into a boogie man of epic purportions. He killed women and children on a whim, and had a blood lust that would rival Hitler.

So RD, it is time to grow up, and see the absurdity of what you have been taught, and are now teaching to others. Join the real world... Oops, if you did that you'd be out of a job wouldn't you?

Cheers



Without faith he doesnt exist? I see the evidence of a divine creator EVERYWHERE!

Could I ask you how we came to be here on Earth?

Your and my very existence is owed to "something" beyond our control.

In my opinion it takes alot more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than the Story of Genesis 1

We have a planet....we have life...we have to the ability to love, hate, laugh, cry and express some very profound rational ideas. Man is capable of tremendous noblity.

Unfortunately...we are also capable of sinking to the lowest levels of depravity.

I have grown up.
And I said...I do not recieve pay for my calling.
work a secular job in the "real world" and my wife is preparing to complete her degree in the medical field.

I have 2 great teenagers who have shown me the love of God since they were born.

I am not here to "debate" for fun as someone claimed.

I was asked to visit this site because a friend of mine came across it and felt so bad that christianity had left such a bad "taste" in the mouths of so many.

I was asked to provide "facts and Science" and my first attempt, was ridiculed and labled 'non-science"

I will provide more.

The late Francis Shaffer wrote a great book entitled " He Is There and He is Not Silent"
I recommend it. It is written from a very educated man with many years od wisdom.

God is here...even if we dont recognize Him.

RD

Anonymous said...

RD said:

"Could I ask you how we came to be here on Earth?"

Well mom and dad had sex. Like my cat, and the dog we used to have. A little woop-de-do, and presto a kid pops out of the mommy! Cool huh? Don't they teach you this stuff in Sunday School?

"In my opinion it takes alot more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than the Story of Genesis 1"

It is not called faith in the real world, it is called science. And yes, it takes study and an abilility to reason, unlike faith."

"Unfortunately...we are also capable of sinking to the lowest levels of depravity."

Right like the historical fact that Christainity has killed millions in the name of God for almost two centuries. Like the fact that priest molest children. Like the fact that Susan Smith, a Sunday School Teacher, drown her two young boys ... and on and on.

"I am not here to "debate" for fun as someone claimed."

Okay be honest now. Can you be honest? Maybe you are really here because the freedom you see on this site is drawing you here.

"I was asked to visit this site because a friend of mine came across it and felt so bad that christianity had left such a bad "taste" in the mouths of so many."

"I was asked to provide "facts and Science" and my first attempt, was ridiculed and labled "non-science"."

Well I have read your posts, and to be honest there is nothing scientific about them. Maybe you should go back to school to get an education first. What do you think?


I am sure the "spirit" of truth will keep you coming back. You really need a reality check.

cdmon said...

RD said: "Could I ask you how we came to be here on Earth?"

Well, RD since you state that you have two teen aged daughters I would think you needn't ask, but since you did. I will explain it to you.

When a male and a female have sexual intercourse, the male ejaculates sperm into the female. The sperm fertilizes the ova or egg and the cells begin to split and form a fetus which grows within the female until it is born.

I know that is how I arrived here. Through an act of carnal love between my parents. Bet ya don't teach that over the pulpit do you?

RD said: "We have a planet....we have life...we have to the ability to love, hate, laugh, cry and express some very profound rational ideas. Man is capable of tremendous noblity.

Unfortunately...we are also capable of sinking to the lowest levels of depravity."


Yes we have a planet, we have life... the ability to love, hate, laugh, cry and express some very profound rational ideas. These things we agree upon. These things are REAL!!! And man's ability to achieve nobility or depravity these too are real. No question here.

But the ability to convey science as it applies to a book which was highly plagerized from earlier Pagan stories as it were an absolute truth is where you lose us.

My question to you is why you totally side stepped the absurdities I mentioned in my previous post? As if they were never stated...

As far as ID goes, if it were an intelligent designer who created all this, who's to say it was your bible god that was the creator? Could it not have been the god of any other earthly religion? Or could it have been extraterrestrial beings for that matter?

You see it is too predictable for you to jump in with "it was yahweh."

You see RD, I grew up when I stepped out of the box. I saw through the scam when I studied other religions and histories and the bible and found it to be lacking in many ways.

When I was promised all I had to do was accept jesus and I would be saved... Which is saved by works by the way. Then the sham escalated into baptism, tithing, service etc... and if I ever stopped or if I gained disfavor in the eyes of the church then I lost it all.

Then after that, we get accused of never have hearing the REAL gospel in the first place? OR never really being saved to begin with. Since when were you elected to sit upon the throne of judgement?

Don't you see how coming into this site spouting that kind of rhetoric might gain some sort of challenge by those of us who have already been there?

RD said: "I was asked to visit this site because a friend of mine came across it and felt so bad that christianity had left such a bad "taste" in the mouths of so many."

I am afraid dear pastor that your presence here and remarks, especially the first one I posted to are perceived as condescending to many of us. It implies that you feel superior to the rest of us. And that can only be taken as arrogance and bigotry. So therefore your motives are questionable in our sight.

We know you are only here to try to save us or reclaim some lost souls, but I must let you know how offensive that is. Especially because you can't even save yourself. I find that rather pompous don't you?

RD said: "I was asked to provide "facts and Science" and my first attempt, was ridiculed and labled 'non-science"

Well, RD, after all it IS a non-science. It is a philosophy not a science. How do you expect NOT to be ridiculed?

Even though you might have had some theological training, there are some here who have been educated in science, history and mathematics with varying degrees and from various Universities.

For you to come into this Ex-xian domain spouting bible as if it were science don't be surprised if you get laughed at relentlessly. You are out of your league here. Remember you are on our turf. I don't remember going to any xian website including your church website spewing ex-xian jargon.

example...

RD said: "God is here...even if we dont recognize Him."

It is an unescapable compulsion for you to shove your god down our throats when it's sooo obvious that such antics are NOT welcome here. You show us no respect. We don't believe in your god... and I reiterate GROW UP and accept it!!

I'm sure there are some ignorant sheep out there somewhere you can corral. After all there's a sucker born every minute.

But to be taken seriously here you might wish to read more of the testimonies and posts, and approach us in a less judgemental manner.

Also consider the fact that your collegues have molested, taken advantage of, judged, and otherwise made life hell for many of us here. So that should answer the questions of why xianity has left a bad taste in our mouths.

So it seems I have proven that your jesus has failed in his mission to change people's lives, as even your collegues, the spiritual leaders are molesting the flock, stealing, rape, commiting adultery etc...

But hey, when I read the things your god did in the OT, I see why you guys do these things. After all you are HIS followers, right?

Cheers

cdmon said...

Jeez Onanite, Me thinks we're on the same page.

Cheers

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "In my opinion it takes alot more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than the Story of Genesis..."

And how much do you know about evolution? Absolutely nothing is my guess. So, for you, it most certainly would take a lot of faith, but for those of us who have put in the time and effort to study it, it's a matter of reason, not faith.

RD: "We have a planet....we have life...we have to the ability to love, hate, laugh, cry and express some very profound rational ideas. Man is capable of tremendous noblity."

And... and... and... What is the conclusion?

RD: "I was asked to visit this site because a friend of mine came across it and felt so bad that christianity had left such a bad 'taste' in the mouths of so many."

I have a question for you, RD, and I would really appreciate an answer. Is it possible for you to acknowledge that some of us have *soberly* and *sincerely* considered your religion, and then *rationally* reached a conclusion that is different from your own? Can you admit that educated and intelligent adults can rationally DISAGREE with you on points of theology? I ask because you continually imply that everyone who does not agree with you does so purely because of some emotional response.

RD: "I was asked to provide 'facts and Science' and my first attempt, was ridiculed and labled 'non-science'... I will provide more."

Do you actually know anything about science, or are you trying to bluff your way through this? If it's the latter, please don't waste your time, and everybody else's time, because you will simply look foolish.

RD: "God is here...even if we dont recognize Him."

I hear that Zeus throws thunder bolts, whether you believe in him or not. I've also been told that a rabbit's foot will bring you good luck, whether you believe in it or not. Can you see how silly those statements are? You think you are executing a clever end-run around your apalling lack of evidence by simply pronouncing your god into existence. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

When I was a believer, I was conditioned or subtly taught not to acknowledge or ponder things that were incongruous with the Christian view that “Jesus doeth all things well.”

It is clear to me now that the putative “Intelligent Designer” is frequently not so skilled a creator.

The believers lurking this website or, as nonexchristian and rd, posting to it would do well to take a reality break and google images for, say, “spina bifida” and see how imperfect their supposed god is as a creator of children, to take a single instance.

Should it occur to believers to wonder why god, being omnipotent, would employ (as the hymn says) “wonder-working power” to create the universe and save sinners but allow innocent children to suffer so?

James 4:17 says, “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Why is it that, for a human, to know to do good but not to do it is sin, but for god, it is not even bad to be all-powerful and let something such as spina bifida happen to a little baby?

Casting off the scales of over twenty years in Christian belief from my eyes, I see rather well that the Christian god does not do all things well, to say the least.

We began this thread with a challenge from nonexchristian to explain to him/her the objective measurable harm that has come from Christianity. Many Exchristians obliged, but we knew that blind-faith believers would simply respond to examples offered by saying that bad things were done perhaps “in the name of” Christianity but were not from REAL (Deal?) Christianity. This was very predictable, as we know from other conversations. (I remember well being taught how few REAL Christians there are in the world. Catholics? Hardly. Mormans? Bah! We evangelical Methodists were even highly suspect of Baptists!)

Far better it might be, I suppose, to respond to challenges from the closed-minded with our own counter-challenge—-the one that cuts to the core—-as many Exchristian respondents did, namely: “Believer, offer demonstrable, replicable, observable, testable evidence that god exists.” Something such as Elijah is said to have done in 1 Kings 18:21-40 would do nicely.

Further, “Believer, likely you believe in the power of prayer. If you truly do, gather with like-minded believers (if you can find any that you can accept); claim the promises of scripture to faithful believers who petition god in faith. You must pray, however, for something that will demonstrate conclusively that power of your god, not the typical jabber on the order of ‘bless Mommy and Daddy and be with the starving people in Africa.’

Try this: Pray that God will prevent ANY further occurrence of spina bifida (or cystic fibrosis, or Down syndrome). Be specific. Pray for a miracle—-something indisputable that will merit entry of the date of your prayer in medical books.”

1 Kings 18:27 “And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.”

Anonymous said...

Jim Arvo wrote:
I have a question for you, RD, and I would really appreciate an answer. Is it possible for you to acknowledge that some of us have *soberly* and *sincerely* considered your religion, and then *rationally* reached a conclusion that is different from your own? Can you admit that educated and intelligent adults can rationally DISAGREE with you on points of theology? I ask because you continually imply that everyone who does not agree with you does so purely because of some emotional response.

I have no doubt that most here have "soberly & sincerly" considered christianity, and that as rational adults have come to a different conclusion than mine.
I do not mean to imply or incinuate that our disagreementis of an emotional basis.

Most here no doubt have experienced the "real thing" concerning the New Birth and Christianity in general.

May I also address an earlier post stating that I come across as pompous and judgmental...

I do not feel that way.
I do not consider anyone on this site beneath me or somehow inferior

In fact, it is evident to me that there are many intelligent, well educated people...who have no doubt achieved a much higher level of education than myself.

As an open minded believer, I am sincerly interested in what has turned people off concerning the Christian Faith.

Honest guys...I have no other agenda.

Would I like to somehow in a small way maybe influence one or two to reconsider your decision? Yes...if that is considered an agenda, then I must plead guilty.

RD

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "In fact, it is evident to me that there are many intelligent, well educated people...who have no doubt achieved a much higher level of education than myself."

Good for you. You just earned yourself a bit more cordiality (at least from me, and perhaps others as well).

RD: "As an open minded believer, I am sincerly interested in what has turned people off concerning the Christian Faith."

Ahhhh... and things were starting to look so good. You see, you just missed a golden opportunity to show that you've actually been listening to what we've been saying. Did you overlook all the times we've pointed out that YOU HAVE NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE? Can you please acknowledge that? I would consider that to be a major step forward in this discussion; if you could simply acknowledge that belief without reason is unfounded, unwarranted, and unwise. Until there is compelling evidence to support your claims of a supernatural being, there is simply NO REASON TO BELIEVE THEY ARE TRUE.

RD: "Would I like to somehow in a small way maybe influence one or two to reconsider your decision? Yes...if that is considered an agenda, then I must plead guilty."

Okay, I'll make a deal with you. I will reconsider my position concerning invisible supernatural sentient beings (of any variety you like), provided that you agree to do the same. I will be precisely as open to new ideas as you are; no more, no less. If you are willing to rationally and sincerely consider the possibility that your chosen deity is a myth, I will rationally and sincerely consider the possibility that he is real. Do we have a deal?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll make a deal with you. I will reconsider my position concerning invisible supernatural sentient beings (of any variety you like), provided that you agree to do the same. I will be precisely as open to new ideas as you are; no more, no less. If you are willing to rationally and sincerely consider the possibility that your chosen deity is a myth, I will rationally and sincerely consider the possibility that he is real. Do we have a deal?


We have a deal.

RD

cdmon said...

RD said: "May I also address an earlier post stating that I come across as pompous and judgmental...

I do not feel that way.
I do not consider anyone on this site beneath me or somehow inferior."

Let's re-examine the post I was referring to...

RD said: "After more reading and studying the contents of this website, I understand that I represent everything you have found lacking in your experience with the Christian faith."

Okay you stated that YOU represent everything that WE have found lacking in OUR xian faith. That is the epitomy of pompous and judgemental. How totally arrogant that statement truly was!! I picture you beating your chest telling us "look at me... super-xian" *shakes head in disgust*

RD said: "I have no doubt that most here have "soberly & sincerly" considered christianity, and that as rational adults have come to a different conclusion than mine.
I do not mean to imply or incinuate that our disagreementis of an emotional basis.

Most here no doubt have experienced the "real thing" concerning the New Birth and Christianity in general."

Then exactly what is the problem with accepting the fact that we have found peace and joy outside of the box of xianity? If it were that profound of a life changing experience, why do we NOT come running back?

Perhaps when we were at a vulnerable time in our lives, we were convinced by the likes of you that there was something profoundly missing from our lives.

Well now I can look back and see that void was only replaced by blind faith in something that cannot be proven. Though you've pointed to the earth and proclaimed that you see evidence of intellegent design all over, you've yet to provide one shred of empirical evidence. But pastor in that lack of evidence you can only point to back to blind faith. It's an endless circle.

Now that we've grown up we've put away pretending. We've immersed ourselves in study and found that when all is said and done that we have ourselves, and that is not such a bad thing. We don't need a jesus to live a good life. We can love, laugh, cry and experience joy without the help of deity that jealously requires our praise and attention and threatens us with hellfire if we don't obey. Don't you see how psychotic that is?

RD said: In fact, it is evident to me that there are many intelligent, well educated people...who have no doubt achieved a much higher level of education than myself.

Then perhaps you should realize that many of us has studied what you have called science and found it not to be nothing more than philosophy and should never be taught to our children in publically funded schools as science considering the separation of church and state.

And might I add there are those here who are educated on the bible far deeper than you. There are Pastors and scholars who have came to the same conclusions we all have, that xianity is nothing more that a sham.

RD said: "As an open minded believer, I am sincerly interested in what has turned people off concerning the Christian Faith.

Honest guys...I have no other agenda.

Would I like to somehow in a small way maybe influence one or two to reconsider your decision? Yes...if that is considered an agenda, then I must plead guilty."

Open minded believer sounds like an oxymoron.

I think we have spelled out why many of us have walked away from xianity. But let me recap...

First and foremost that practically all of us agree that the bible contains numerous contradictions and absurditites and cannot be trusted as an infallible roadmap to god.

Some of us were abused and molested by clergy.

And all of us just plain became tired of the hypocracy that runs rampant throughout every denomination. Need more?

Your agenda was clear to us from the beginning... and YES it is an agenda. But you would fair better finding lost sheep elsewhere.

Unless you think you can single handedly clear up every one of the 50,000+ contradictions in the bible... Many other scholars and apologists have tried the same and failed miserably.

Also unless you can show empirical evidence of the existance of your bible god... And unless you can make up for all the rotten things your collegues have done to humanity in god's name, you really have have less than a ghost of a chance at convincing us to reconsider our desicions.

A noble effort but very very unrealistic.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Real Deal,
Now that you are going to make the leap into free thought, riddle me this.

If God created us in his likeness, does he also have 98% of the same genes as a chimpanzee?

If Jesus was God or Gods son or the holy ghost or all three, what is the big deal about being crucified and then coming back from the dead? That is easy if you are God.

Instead of risking being called a plagiarist and coming up with a (God had sex with a human and produced a son), why didn't he do something original?

god_NOT said...

I still want to know why this pastor wishes to come here to spew the fundie agenda to people who don't want to convert or revert to xianity... why can't you just let it go?

Go find people who want to be saved! If we are "damned" then SO BE IT! You can sleep at night! Trust me on this one shep! I will sleep WELL knowing that I will not be in your company. And THAT is a GREAT feeling...

Go now little sheep... scoot scoot... there is a flock for you to join.

god_NOT said...

Real Deal said...
Okay, I'll make a deal with you.


When did this guy become Monty Hall?

Your supposed "faith" is not negotiable sir... no deals.. no prizes .. no believers here..

Shoo shoo ...

Anonymous said...

Riddle me this RD, if we are all sons and daughters of god, then, did Jesus have sex with his daughter Mary, who became his mother, and he his own father, while committing adultery with a married woman, the inquirer wants to know.

Jim Arvo said...

"god NOT" said: "Real Deal said... Okay, I'll make a deal with you. When did this guy become Monty Hall?"

Actually, it was I who was playing Monty Hall. See my post above (12/29/2005 11:37 AM EST). RD was quoting me. This is how I often deal with door-to-door proselytizers; I tell them I will read whatever they would like me to read, and seriously consider anything they say, provided they reciprocate in good faith. It usually makes for an interesting exchange. I always have plenty of literature on the ready to hand them (e.g. a copy of "Why I don't buy the resurrection story" by Richard Carrier, several essays by Bertrand Russell, among other things).

RD agreed that he would reconsider his position in exchange for me reconsidering mine. Since I am *always* willing to reconsider absolutely anything (and routinely do), I'm always happy to make such a deal. (Hence, to be perfectly frank, it doesn't require me to change my behavior at all.)

So, RD, I think the best way to proceed is for you to tell me what you would like for me to consider; i.e. what do you think are the most convincing evidences/arguments for the existence of your purported creator? This makes the most sense, as it is you who is making the primary positive claim--i.e. the claim that some supernatural entity exists. Then I will likely respond by asking you further questions and/or by having you consider your own evidence/argument in a different light. Ultimately, if your evidence does not hold up, then I claim it is reasonable to deem your deity mythical. (But, of course, even that assertion is open to challenge, if you like.)

god_NOT said...

to jim arvo -

my bad! I apologize for taking it out of context...

My advice is to not make the deal though! lol!

Anonymous said...

?To Jim Arvo,
First of all thank you for the courtesy of correcting godNot on my behalf.
I was going to ignore his insults and mis-quote, but you had the integrety to do so
in a nice way.

also to godNot..in reality your apology should have been directed towards me...but
no problem
I realize I believe in something you dislike...therfore I wouldnt expect you to like
me. (proved by your insulting posts)

Now Jim, back to our "deal". I found the reasons, (apart from the Bible)that I
believe in a Supernatural Creator to be summed up in the following statements:

1. I believe in God because there are too many unanswered questions without God.
Every philosophic or religious belief system must answer four questions:
Where did we come from? (Origin)

Why are we here? (Purpose)
How should we behave? (Morality)

What is our destiny? (Afterlife)


My science professors couldn't answer these questions. My philosophy professors
had lots of opinions, but none were compelling.

2. I believe in God because without God we have to believe that something,
specifically this universe and everything in it, came from nothing. This is illogical
and incompatible with all other observed phenomena in the universe. Even if
Darwinian evolution were true, what did we evolve from? When you follow the
evolutionist's theory all the way back to the beginning, there had to be something
already existing. And where did the infinite amount of energy come from to create
all that we see?


3. I believe in God because I cannot comprehend infinity. How do we contend with
the eternal, something without beginning and without end? When I stare off into
the heavens on a clear summer night, I know that space continues forever and ever
and ever. If we could get in a space shuttle and travel at the speed of light for an
entire lifetime we would be no nearer the end than we were at the beginning. This
is beyond comprehension and forms my concept of what God is-eternal, infinite,
and incomprehensible.

4. I believe in God because of the magnitude of space. The nearest star, Proxima
Centauri, is about four light-years from Earth.

The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across, and the sun is roughly 25,000
light-years from its center.

The nearest large galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 2 million
light-years away.

Some galaxies are more than 10 billion light-years distant. There are too many
stars for scientists to actually count, but it is estimated that there are on the
order of 1021 stars in our universe. If you write that number out, it looks like this:
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Only God can contend with something that big.

5. I believe in God because we live in a complex, intricate, interdependent world of
design. As one of the world's foremost space scientists, Dr. Werner von Braun
said, "Anything as well ordered and perfectly created as is our earth and
universe must have a Maker, a Master Designer. Anything so orderly, so perfect,
so precisely balanced, so majestic as this creation can only be the product of a
Divine idea...there must be a Maker; there can be no other way."


If you have been reading much in secular magazines you are aware that more and
more scientists are espousing the idea that the universe could not have come about
by accident, but rather is the product of a Master Designer.

6. I believe in God because life is incredibly short and I do not believe that our
lives are meaningless. If we are to live without God we must accept that life is
meaningless-that we live for a short time and then we die and return to
nothingness. Even the existential philosophers admit this. The prominent atheist
Bertrand Russell said, "Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is
meaningless." If there is nothing more than what we accomplish in our 76.2 years
on earth then life has no meaning, no greater purpose, no nobility. The
existentialists have to agree, then, with Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:2, when he says,
"'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is
meaningless...'" That is, unless our lives are focused on serving an eternal, infinite,
and loving God. Without God life makes no sense.


7. I believe in God because it is the logical thing to do. The French mathematician
and philosopher Blaise Pascal suggested that the wise person would, based on logic,
math, and probability, "bet on God." If Christians are wrong and there is no God,
we have lost nothing. If, however, we bet that He is not (or we don't bet at all),
and He is, we have lost everything. Pascal said, "Wager then unhesitatingly that
God is."

8. I believe in God because without God it is impossible to establish that anything
is right or wrong. There would be no objective standard of truth. If there is no
God, we are left adrift on a sea of moral relativism without any way of agreeing on
what is absolutely right and wrong. C. S. Lewis took this even a step further when
he identified what he called "The Law of Human Nature." The very existence of
this law suggests that a Supreme Being established it. In explaining this divinely
created code, C. S. Lewis said, "First, ...human beings, all over the earth, have this
curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of
it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way." This moral law is as
demonstrable as natural law and requires a God to create it.

9. I believe in God because of personal evidences. This is what the Bible calls a
"still small voice." If we listen with an open heart and mind we will find God. There
is something in us that leads us to face the inevitability of a creator, that there is
something unique and valuable within us. Someone once said, "Within every man
there is a God-shaped void
I like the way Louis Cassels put it: "If you sincerely seek God, and persevere
in the search for Him along the hard road of obedience, at some point in your
quest, at a time and place and in a manner of God's own choosing, you will find
yourself gripped by an unmistakable awareness of His presence."


Thats a start....

RD

Anonymous said...

REAL DEAL wrote;

"blah blah blah etc."

We get it, you believe in God! What I find fascinating is that you just don't get the fact that many here do not. Do you really think we have not heard all you have to say before?

I find nothing new or profound in your banal rantings. I hope you do note however that unlike Christian sites, this site allows you free expression. Does your church have forums where we may post our ideas?

So I must ask myself, what is the purpose of your visits and continual posting about why you believe in your Myth? I come up with only two answers to the question.

1) That you are your basic internet troll. (Trolls have of course been around since the inception of the internet.)

2) That you truly believe that your simplistic arguments will "save" someone here. Your basic arguments are:

a)"I don't have time to do any scienticfic research, so shazam God did it."
b)"I am afraid of the afterlife, and so I am hedging my bets."
c)"Without God I would not know right from wrong."


If trolling is your purpose, then my guess is that you will be around for a long time. Posting and re-posting your cut and paste arguments. (BTW, we all know that is what you are doing.)

If you are "on a mission" to save souls, you are really wasting your time. You have obviously given it your best shot, and I see no revival happening, do you? Time to take off to the jungles of the Amazon and find a godless tribe to convert wouldn't you say?


Onanite

Anonymous said...

Real Deal, You Could be right! There(could be?)a creator. I think the only problem is with non-believers is that we find it so hard to contend that a creator God would allow such evil and corruption to exist, that he also is credited with having created, Isaiah 45:7 Also a God to exist that makes constant mistakes,like Gen 6:6 And it repented the Lord that he created a man and a woman. Why did it not repent the Lord that he allowed and created all evil and Satan? It was not mans/womans fault for allowing a talking snake (Satan) to decieve man, was it? Why blame a man and a woman for this ignorant Gods mistake? This imaginary God already threw Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, why? And then allow this Satan, that this God had created, and had full knowledge that it was evil, to corrupt the Earth too?

RD, Do you really believe that there is an all knowing, infailable God that is this dumb and that stupid? Can you not see that the Bible attests to itself to be false? It's so obvious to anyone that wants to see that the Bible is entirely the imaginative literary works of a man.

Sure there could be a God out there, sure there could be, BUT, this God cannot be described acurately by any living being. Nothing can be described acurately that has not ever been seen, it can only be imagined, and this fact is where we all here part company from you and people that are afraid not to believe in the doctrines of man, we prefer to live in what we perceive as being real, not by what has been imagined by us or anyone else. Imagination only exists in the awake living conscious brain, PERIOD. Have you ever noticed RD, that when you go to sleep, all indoctrinated thoughts of God and the Bible disappear, it's because only the awakened conscious brain stores what you've been told by someone else, when you die, your brain functions no more and God and Jesus and all religious doctrines disappear also, for eternity, you can bank on it RD, and there is no soul, PERIOD

Yes RD, there is a Life Force out there, IT DOES NOT WANT ANYONE TO WORSHIP IT, IT DOES NOT WANT ANYONE TO PRAY TO IT. This force gives, it does not take, it does not judge, it does not punish, it only gives LIFE, when there is water and oxygen, it provides from within it's central core, it's not a God, it's called the Sun. A lot of people are not willing to accept this answer as being our creator, people like you RD, would much rather believe in the fable, Man's God of the Bible. An invisible being did not create visable objects, a visible being can only create visable objects. According to your Bible, no man hath seen God at any time, but man has seen the Sun, the creator of all life on Earth, the Sun can be felt, the Sun can be seen, we know for 100 percent certainty that the Sun exists, no questions need be asked if the Sun exists or not. Should the Sun disappear, we too would soon disappear, we are a by-product of the Sun, without the Sun we would not exist PERIOD. We do not need the Son of a God. We need, we depend on the SUN, we humans cannot survive without the visible Sun. We do not need nor depend on the God of a book. There is nothing to worship, there is nothing to pray to. RD grow up and quit trying prove and believe that something imaginary exists.

Anonymous said...

Real Deal:
"Every philosophic or religious belief system must answer four questions:
Where did we come from? (Origin)

Why are we here? (Purpose)
How should we behave? (Morality)

What is our destiny? (Afterlife)"

If "God" or "Glorifying God" is the answer to these then what questions is God supposed to ask?
The meaningless you attribute to life without God would still ultimately have to apply to God himself.
Where did God come from?
Why is God here?
How should God behave?
What is God's purpose?

I would also ask, Why did God create?
He must have been missing something.
His perfection was really no such thing, because something motivated him to DESIRE MORE... and so he created.
He wanted to experience something more.
That is the point of existence.
It's the same for us as it would be for a creator god - to experience. To learn, to grow...
Therefore any Creator is not yet perfect - until the end of time.

As for morality, it is an invention.

Anonymous said...

Real Deal,
I don't have any problem believing "The force" created us. The only problem I have is with all those silly, ridiculous, absurd, illogical, stories in the bible.

I notice that you VERY CONSPICUOUSLY avoid looking at even the simplest of them with an analytical mind. The reason you don't is that even a six year old is able to see that they were obviously made up by ancient people who by today's standards of learning, would be considered retarded.

To put it another way, it is impossible to explain magic.

Jim Arvo said...

A response to RD,

First, thanks for your list of questions to ponder. I'm going to try to keep my reply short because I don't wish to annoy others here with this type of discussion. Technically, this discussion should be conducted in the forums, not here (and I take responsibility both for encouraging it, and for failing to point that out earlier).

Before briefly addressing your individual points, let me say that I've pondered these questions and many many more like them since I was a young child, so nothing you've said comes as a surprise to me. Where you and I differ most radically is in how we set about adressing such questions (and also in the what we deem the most interesting questions). More on that point in my conclusion.

RD: "I believe in God because without God we have to believe that something,
specifically this universe and everything in it, came from nothing. This is illogical
and incompatible with all other observed phenomena in the universe."

This position has many problems. First, you offer only two choices, god and "we came from nothing". Why are those the only choices? You believe your god adequately explains these things, so he must be the answer. But there are countless other possibilities that also explain it, such as "natural" forces that we do not yet fully understand, or even a barely-adequate (e.g. savant) designer. Next, you assert that something coming from nothing contradicts all observed phenomena. This is false. 20'th century physics (quantum mechanics, in particular), has shown that is it perfectly consistent for particle/anti-particle pairs to pop out of nothing (literally NOTHING). Moreover, this is an OBSERVED phenomenon. Nature is far stranger than our naive intuitions would suggest. (Look up "vacuum fluctuations" or "virtual particles"; I don't expect you to take my word for it.)

RD: "And where did the infinite amount of energy come from to create all that we see?..."

The net energy of the universe appears to be zero, or very very close to zero. I will look up one or two links for you regarding this (I don't have them hand at the moment).

RD: "I believe in God because I cannot comprehend infinity...."

Much of my work is in mathematics, and I deal with infinity all the time (e.g. transfinite numbers). I'm as comfortable with various magnitudes of infinity as I suppose most folks are with standard arithmetic. (Did you know that there are infinitely many levels of infinity, and that they have their own arithmetic rules?) So, I don't share your lack of comprehension. But that aside, why would a LACK of comprehension imply ANYTHING about reality? That tactic is known as an "argument from ignorance", which is a well-known fallacy. In short, you cannot CONCLUDE anything from a LACK of knowledge.

RD: "I know that space continues forever and ever and ever...."

Here you are merely consulting your naive intuition. Not only is that a risky strategy in general, but in this specific case you are quite likely wrong. I know it strains the brain. As Andy Roony once put it, "If space is finite, what's on the other side?" But that's precisely where we must bid our naive intuition adieu; it is of no assistance (in fact, it is a hindrance), when contemplating cosmology, quantum mechanics, etc. Naive intuition tells us NOTHING about the fabric of the universe; all it reveals is how we THINK.

RD: "I believe in God because of the magnitude of space...."

But the magnitude of space tell ME that god is a turtle. I'll share my chain of reasoning if you share yours. :-)

RD: "Only God can contend with something that big."

Really? Why is that? If the universe was even bigger with, say, 100! (one hundred factorial) galaxies, would that require an even bigger god?

RD: "I believe in God because we live in a complex, intricate, interdependent world of design...."

And this all points of god (in fact, YOUR god), because... you can't comprehend how it could be otherwise? Please explain why that does not qualify as an argument from ignorance.

RD: "If you have been reading much in secular magazines..."

Be careful what you conclude from magazines! Try looking at peer-reviewed scientific journals. You will get a radically different picture. In that arena, where critical thinking is demanded, there is nary a trace of what you are referring to because it has no scientific backing. What the public likes to hear about rarely indicates what actually *is*.

RD: "...I do not believe that our lives are meaningless..."

The word "meaningless" here is meaningless until you tell me what it means! I contend that you implicitly DEFINE "meaning" in relation to your god concept (or, at least your concept infinity); thus, you complain that without your god there is no meaning. Well, I don't follow. There are myriad things that are deeply meaningful to me, yet I don't believe in any gods or goddesses.

Here's a little experiment for you to try. Find one of those black springy paper clips; the kind that has two silver handles that you fold back to open it up, so you can snap it onto a stack of papers. Now, grab some flesh from the back of your arm, clamp the paper clip onto it, and leave it there for one hour. I claim that 1) this will cause you no harm, 2) it is a completely meaningless act (e.g. it has no long-term consequences), and 3) it hurts like bloody hell. Once you've done that, let's discuss what "meaningless" means, and in particular, whether you would be willing to engage in that experiment again.

RD: "I believe in God because it is the logical thing to do...."

Calling something logical does not make it logical. Pascal's wager is a famous fallacy. As much as I respect Pascal, he was not above a howling fallacy now and again, and his wager was one of them. For one thing he deftly ignores the fact that there are myriad possible deities, each of whom will visit their own brand of punishment for not believing in them. Thus, one could just as easily argue that one should be a Muslim, a Buddhist, or even an atheist (for the creator loves those who eschew mysticism) using Pascal's reasoning.

RD: "I believe in God because without God it is impossible to establish that anything is right or wrong..."

Two problems: 1) We have a constitution and a system of law that seems to do a fairly good job of it without consulting "god's will", and 2) I don't see religionists doing any better by consulting what they claim to be the absolute will of god.

RD: "C. S. Lewis took this even a step further when he identified what he called 'The Law of Human Nature.'..."

As gifted a writer as C. S. Lewis was, he was no anthropologist, and no psychologist. (In fact, he was not much of a critical thinker at all.) His assertion that our in-built moral code could ONLY have come from god is purely dogmatic. It's yet another argument from ignorance. In fact, science has begun to reveal a much more likely origin of this code; look up "evolutionary psychology".

RD: "I believe in God because of personal evidences...."

This, I believe, is the ultimate motive behind much religious conviction. I too felt this as a kid, but then I realized it had another name: imagination. Science has begun to unravel man's peculiar propensity to believe in invisible conscious entities. In short, our brains are "wired" primarily for social interaction, and we are therefore preoccupied with discerning and understanding the motives of those around us. This comes with being a social animal. Such mental machinery is apt to over-generalize; i.e. to "see" intentionality where there is none. Such behavior is not only theoretically explainable, but quite easily observable. This is a very big topic as it involves evolutionary psychology, sociology, and cognitive psychology. But the bottom line is this: The "small voice" in your head is very likely a part of your own brain, and your proclivity to perceive it as an external being is due to another function of your brain--finding other beings to interact with and negotiate with.

My conclusion is this. All the points that you raise rest heavily upon your own intuition as to how things operate. You intuitively believe that matter cannot come from nothing, that space is infinite, that morality is absolute, etc. etc. But how is it that your intuition is qualified to make judgments on such things? As I am fond of saying, intuition is a wonderful compass, but a lousy arbiter. That is, intuition can motivate one to pose possible solutions, and to ask interesting questions, but it's among worst ways to ANSWER those questions that I can think of. Again, this is a fundamental difference between us; I treasure my intuition, but I do not look to it for answers. For that there is reason and science.

Anonymous said...

RD, to add one thing in support of Jim Arvo’s excellent answer: It is quite easy to modify that “still, small voice” that you hear in your head by adding minute quantities of psychoactive chemicals in your bloodstream. Did you not ever wonder why the voice of god almighty can be so very easily disordered?

I think it is because your experience of god takes place entirely between your ears.

Anonymous said...

Real Deal, just wanted to put my two cents in, and I don't need a reply unless you feel compelled to provide one...

We all start this life with hypothesis, and testing them, typically using cause-effect relationships, from experience, and from information learned...

Truth is said to be closest, when falsities are removed, from the archive of information we obtain in our lifetimes... That means, what we have left, in our bag of knowledge, after the sifting, can be used to create our final "truth" in a personal sense... a working theory we use in our lives...

A working theory, should be separable from other working theories by the underlying information... The reason I bring this up, is... the list of information you use to ascribe to a god, in your "why I believe" checklist, doesn't disallow for the option for a "natural" god...

In short, if you are looking to find a unique truth, the information in itself must be unique... if the information can be used by other belief systems, equally, it would then appear that there is more than one possible answer to the question... when multiple answers appear, for a question, then there must be at least "one" distinguishing factor that separates it from the rest of the pack of possibilities...

In your assessment of why you believe there is a god, can you define "one" unique attribute, that separates your belief system from any other... Just as an observation, all that you have provided, could easily be used to support an argument for a "natural" god, i.e., the Universe itself is a god, based on your argument, which is a pantheistic view...

Oh, and the god shaped void, is in the form of a "?", and just like lemurs with an insatiable "curiosity", we are driven to search out this universe, for that which we haven't found an answer, some place a "?", and others are comfortable placing a "god" symbol... in either case, its natural for humanity to search and attempt to define and redefine that "?" symbol, however... its been my experience, that the "god" symbol over time, has been hijacked and held as an absolute "fact", and never to "change", no matter how much new information is obtained... Just a little insight from what I have experienced in many religions... I have stated this before, but, here is goes... I haven't visited a church who claims to "almost" know the "truth", they have "all" claimed to "know" the truth, absolutely... If you are honestly searching for information to answer the "?" in your life, enjoy the journey...

Jim Arvo said...

Good point, PastorPrime. In fact, there are a huge number of connections between brain chemistry and religious belief. Not only do certain drugs enhance the "numinous feeling" that many religionists refer to, but it is well-known that psychiatric hospitals are brimming with those who believe that god speaks to them (I refer to the patients, of course). Also, more recent research involving CT scans reveal that the hippocampus is implicated in numinous feelings (or, the "oceanic" sensation, as Freud called it). This is a very ancient part of the brain that is partly responsible for our perception of ourselves; i.e. what belongs to our own bodies, and what does not. When this region of the brain is suppressed, either through meditation or drugs, one feels more "at one" with the universe, and this sensation has a high correlation with religious interpretations.

But if this "feeling" were objective--i.e. the result of something "out there" trying to communicate with us--why would it be so dependent upon one's brain chemistry? (This was your question, and it's a great one.)

By the way, here is one of the links I wanted to share (particularly for RD's sake).

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/cosmo.html

It's an excellent article by Victor J. Stenger, a physicist. It's a capsule summary of some of the physics that is relevant to many of the religious arguments one hears. I highly recommend this article to all, including RD.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jim.

Another challenge along these same lines comes from the natural mental aging process when things go bad. Think of the Christian with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

If man were truly created as "a living soul," would mental disease affect the soul?

Anonymous said...

"...If man were truly created as "a living soul," would mental disease affect the soul?"

It could be considered 'just another experience' for the soul...

Anonymous said...

Jim Arvo, PastorPrime, SpaceMonk, Dave8, Real Deal,

So then we have established that as we have evolved, (natural selection), has favored those individuals who were capable of calling upon an instinctual feeling that they were being assisted by a supreme being. Those who went around calling upon the God who brought rain, success in battle, made babies appear in their bellies, and protected them from danger, were more successful and reproduced more. Those who had "confidence," because they believed in a higher power.

They passed on those neuro-chemicals that maintained and produced these feelings to their offspring. (In the same fashion of the squid that can create a chemically induced light display on their skin surface as a survival technique.)

Since we still have these ancient chemicals in the more base parts of our brains, the insane asylums are full of people who go around talking to God.

Seems to me, the challenge to the brain doctors is to recognize this and come up with a pill for it (Sorry! I guess they have already done that), but on a more holistic note, the challenge would be to recognize that people have an instinctual feeling to believe in "Somthing," and admit it, and figure out more constructive things to believe in than stories of Gods having babies with humans in order to have someone for a sacrifice, and the other fear provoking stuff like Satan, sin, and hell.

The answers have to be in science, because it is self-evident that mystical beliefs are at a dead end. ( one good thing is, "The Rapture", will remove most of these people from the gene pool)
Dano

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Dano,

You said "...(natural selection), has favored those individuals who were capable of calling upon an instinctual feeling that they were being assisted by a supreme being...."

Maybe you're exaggerating a bit for comic effect, but... I think that's the wrong way to look at it. I see belief in supernatural sentient beings as a SIDE EFFECT of an enormous amount of mental machinery that serves other vital purposes; thus it was not selected for directly. Specifically, the ability to discern and anticipate the intentions of others in the community is so basic for a high-level social animal that false positives are far les problematic than false negatives (i.e. it's better think something alive that is not than the other way around).

Of course, it's not as simple as that. There are other mental mechanisms that come into play as well; in fact, it probably involves a great many mental mechanisms to some degree, all with other more "legitimate" purposes. For example, we appear to have an ancient and outmoded tendency to recognize an "alpha male", and an inherent tendency to associate authority figures with parental (usually paternal) roles (Freud saw that piece of the puzzle). To me it makes perfect sense that most religions involve complicated rituals and rest upon dogma that can be interpreted in numerous ways, as this ties together the many little factions that are necessary to create a strong belief. Just look at the "For god so loved the world..." bit of scripture that Christians are so fond of. On the one hand it's a jumble of contradictions and absurdities (as we've discussed at this site countless times), yet it manages to tug at many emotions of the believer (guilt, gratitude, obedience toward a father figure, etc.).

But you ask a very important question; in effect, if it's biologically motivated, what can be done about it? Well, the answer may be "nothing"--it's part of us, as a species, for better or for worse. In fact, this is the conclusion of Andrew Newberg and Eugene D'Aquili, two neuroscientists who have studied religious reverie. They conclude in their book "Why God Won't Go Away" that it's an epiphenomenon of the brain that is so deeply rooted that it cannot be circumvented--at least not by any means we know today. (Whether we *should* even if we *could* is, of course, another topic altogether.)

But there is a flip-side that I find amusing. Look at virtually any survey of religious beliefs and you will find that somewhere between 11% and 15% of the population wears the label atheist or agnostic. (In some surveys it's as high as 20%, but that usually means they employed a looser wording in the survey, or lumped together several groups.) What can we make of that? Well, here's a hypothesis. I believe that that percentage is roughly the same as the number of individuals who have a significantly reduced "heard instinct"; i.e. the number of individuals who are more likely to try to either leave the heard, or *lead* the heard, rather than follow. Mere coincidence? Maybe. It would be interesting to look into that further.

Anonymous said...

Jim Arvo,
All of your points are well made. I especially like the info about other people who have written about this problem. The "it's better to think something alive that is not, than the other way around, makes a lot of sense, as well as the instinctual urge to follow the "Alpha male."

I know the weak herd instinct in me was not so much a product of genetics, as it was socialization. I think I took the road less traveled after coming to the realization that if the masses revere something, it is generally mediocre. (You know like when the greatest movie awards come out, you can just about bet they ain't going to the best movies)

Anyway it looks like the reasons "Why God Won't Go Away", are so complicated that I will just have to cut and past them onto my "Agnostic Profile"
Dano

Anonymous said...

Jim, you wrote
My conclusion is this. All the points that you raise rest heavily upon your own intuition as to how things operate. You intuitively believe that matter cannot come from nothing, that space is infinite, that morality is absolute, etc. etc. But how is it that your intuition is qualified to make judgments on such things? As I am fond of saying, intuition is a wonderful compass, but a lousy arbiter. That is, intuition can motivate one to pose possible solutions, and to ask interesting questions, but it's among worst ways to ANSWER those questions that I can think of. Again, this is a fundamental difference between us; I treasure my intuition, but I do not look to it for answers. For that there is reason and science.
**************************


Believe it or not Jim...I agree.
I may word it different, by saying that our intuition is "tainted" by our sin nature, so I also cannot rely upon it to accurate solve life's mysteries.

Could we not agree however that even Science and Reason have their limits?

Basically I am saying that everything around us...in us...about us..and our history, points to an Intelligent Designer.

Maybe not "God"....

But an Intelligent Being of some type that started it all...at least here on Earth?

RD

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "Believe it or not Jim...I agree. I may word it different, by saying that our intuition is "tainted" by our sin nature,..."

You go well beyond what the evidence warrants with that last part, but I'll settle for a little kernel of agreement. That's more than I usually achieve.

RD: "Could we not agree however that even Science and Reason have their limits?"

Of course!!! Yes, EVERYTHING has it's limits. Science is not perfect as it is merely a human activity. It's simply the best alternative available to us; nothing more.

RD: "Basically I am saying that everything around us...in us...about us..and our history, points to an Intelligent Designer."

You've been saying that over and over and over. I really do get it. Honest, I do. I understand that that is what you believe. Do YOU see why I do not share that belief? It's nothing but an argument from ignorance. It's a fallacy. It's wishful thinking. You have no evidence, just unfounded belief. That's why I don't buy it.

RD: "...an Intelligent Being of some type that started it all...at least here on Earth?"

Based on WHAT?!?!?!? Your inability to imagine an alternative?! That's ALL you have. THAT'S WHY I DO NOT BUY IT. It would make about as much sense to claim that we were created by an army of chocolate Easter bunnies.

If it makes you happy to believe that stuff, then just go on believing it. That's your right. But PLEASE don't think that you're going get me to agree with such a fanciful just-so story.

Anonymous said...

Jim Arvo,
I call what Real Deal has as the: "You ain't gonna make me believe I came from no damn monkey," syndrome.

It has been my experience, from trying to explain evolution to others with the Christian meme, that it is pretty much incurable.

They will just keep looking at the evidence that we are 98 and one half percent chimp, and refuse to see it.

(I wouldn't even want to start to explain the, we evolved at the same time from an earlier ancestor, theory)

They are going to keep denying evolution and the science that has for all practical purposes proved it, till kingdom come, because they think it negates Geneses.

In reality, it is just a problem with semantics!
Dano

Anonymous said...

RD: "Basically I am saying that everything around us...in us...about us..and our history, points to an Intelligent Designer."
You've been saying that over and over and over. I really do get it. Honest, I do. I understand that that is what you believe. Do YOU see why I do not share that belief? It's nothing but an argument from ignorance. It's a fallacy. It's wishful thinking. You have no evidence, just unfounded belief. That's why I don't buy it.


Ok Jim I conceed that point. I suppose I do see so much evidence for an Intelligent Creator,(in my opinion and life-experience) that I speak of us fact.

I will try an refrain...and use more logical reasons for WHY I believe we are created.

In the mean time Happy New Year! to you and everyone reading these posts.

Sincerly RD

Anonymous said...

RD:
"...at least here on Earth?"

Wow, that's a big step down, which only makes the questions worse.
Was Jahweh just a passing alien then? or an asteroid virus?
Who created that then?
...and the rest of the universe?

Some higher intelligence still?
Then where did that come from?
etc...

Whether you take a scientific point of view or a religious point of view the fact is we just don't know what really started it all - so therefore we are not obliged to believe any one theory 100%, let alone 'fearfully' live our lives by it.
Therefore we cannot be held liable if there does turn out to be some 'judge of all the earth...', so lets eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die - and maybe after that we'll get some answers?

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Dano. Happy new Year to you and everyone else here.

Yes, you are right about the "You ain't gonna make me believe I came from no damn monkey," syndrome. That's why I rarely trot out the evidence for evolution in such discussions. I prefer to first focus on the faulty reasoning behind creationism. This is one of the very few things I disagree with Richard Dawkins on. In one of his books (I think it's "The Blind Watchmaker") he says that it's hard for him to imagine how anyone could have been an atheist before evolution was given a sound scientific basis by Darwin. To me that's not giving people enough credit. It certainly is possible to recognize an unfounded idea, even in the absence of a sensible alternative. It's STILL an argument from ignorance to claim that "god did it" without some evidence for that position, even if there is no alternative in sight.

I see creationism as being roughly equivalent to the idea of the "homunculus" theory; i.e. the idea that our thoughts are carried out by a "little man" inside our heads. Both are silly projections of the way we THINK--by compartmentalizing things into chunks that we have ready-made mental machinery for processing--and both do nothing more than pass the buck. Neither creationism nor the homunculus theory explains anything at all, they simply encapsulate we don't understand in a package that we can place a seemingly familiar label on. My conjecture is that one needs to recognize this mental shell game for what is before one can be truly open to discussing alternatives. (But I do recognize that for many evolution was a key element in exposing the creationist shell game, so it can work both ways, and maybe even in both directions at once. The mind is a complex tangle of heuristics and, like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.)

SpaceMonk, you are right too; that *is* a big step down (to relegate god to an Earthly role)! But observe that the "shell" remains in place by performing this little maneuver. The hard-to-comprehend stuff is still neatly hidden under the same kind of label, only "god" becomes "it" or "them". Same fallacy. It's the homunculus all over again.

Purple said...

**Hello,

just typing in to say that I found this site.>>

Well bully for you.

**I think it is very sad, many of the experiences people have had.>>

Truly

**Yet, after reading testimonies, I wonder if many got the real gospel...the real good news...or just got a bunch of man-made tradition and hypocrisy,>>

If you really read them why are you wondering?

**which is quite easy to reject. And which, I cannot blame them for rejecting.>>

ALL of xianity is manmade, the whole ball of wax, and yes is quite easy to reject.

Anonymous said...

Good Monday to all,(Specifically Jim Arvo)since it is he and I that our "Deal"...

Jim I found this excerpt and thought how well it describes my own thoughts and beliefs.

By my belief in God I do have unity in my experience. Not of course the sort of unity that you want. Not a unity that is the result of my own autonomous determination of what is possible. But a unity that is higher than mine and prior to mine.

On the basis of God's counsel I can look for facts and find them without destroying them in advance. On the basis of God's counsel I can be a good physicist, a good biologist, a good psychologist, or a good philosopher.

In all these fields I use my powers of logical arrangement in order to see as much order in God's universe as it may be given a creature to see.

The unities, or systems that I make are true because [they are] genuine pointers toward the basic or original unity that is found in the counsel of God.

Looking about me I see both order and disorder in every dimension of life.

But I look at both of them in the light of the Great Orderer Who is back of them. I need not deny either of them in the interest of optimism or in the interest of pessimism.

I see the strong men of biology searching diligently through hill and dale to prove that the creation doctrine is not true with respect to the human body, only to return and admit that the missing link is missing still.

I see the strong men of psychology search deep and far into the sub-consciousness, child and animal consciousness, in order to prove that the creation and providence doctrines are not true with respect to the human soul, only to return and admit that the gulf between human and animal intelligence is as great as ever.

I see the strong men of logic and scientific methodology search deep into the transcendental for a validity that will not be swept away by the ever-changing tide of the wholly new, only to return and say that they can find no bridge from logic to reality, or from reality to logic.

And yet I find all these, though standing on their heads, reporting much that is true. I need only to turn their reports right side up, making God instead of man the center of it all, and I have a marvelous display of the facts as God has intended me to see them.

And if my unity is comprehensive enough to include the efforts of those who reject it, it is large enough even to include that which those who have been set upright by regeneration cannot see.

My unity is that of a child who walks with its father through the woods. The child is not afraid because its father knows it all and is capable of handling every situation.

So I readily grant that there are some "difficulties" with respect to belief in God and His revelation in nature and Scripture that I cannot solve.

In fact there is mystery in every relationship with respect to every fact that faces me, for the reason that all facts have their final explanation in God Whose thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and Whose ways are higher than my ways. And it is exactly that sort of God that I need. Without such a God, without the God of the Bible, the God of authority, the God who is self-contained and therefore incomprehensible to men, there would be no reason in anything. No human being can explain in the sense of seeing through all things, but only he who believes in God has the right to hold that there is an explanation at all.

So you see when I was young I was conditioned on every side; I could not help believing in God. Now that I am older I still cannot help believing in God. I believe in God now because unless I have Him as the All-Conditioner, life is Chaos.

I shall not convert you at the end of my argument. I think the argument is sound. I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief;

I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else. But since I believe in such a God, a God who has conditioned you as well as me, I know that you can to your own satisfaction, by the help of the biologists, the psychologists, the logicians, and the Bible critics reduce everything I have said this afternoon and evening to the circular meanderings of a hopeless authoritarian. Well, my meanderings have, to be sure, been circular; they have made everything turn on God. So now I shall leave you with Him, and with His mercy.


Pretty good stuff I thought.

What do you think?

RD

Jim Arvo said...

RD, you failed to include an attribution for that long quote. It appears to be from Cornelius Van Til; is that right? I think Van Til is one of the better apologists (as far as that goes). I will agree that it is an excellent quote in that it does appear to sum up your position.

I also think it's excellent for another reason; it beautifully displays the very "upside down" thinking that it purports to dispel, and that I find is so very entrenched in theistic thinking. Please note with care that the quote, as well as ALL of your arguments, BEGINS with the supposition of there being a god/creator. Everything that follows is viewed through that lens and, as if by magic, it all seems to "make sense".

I say "Of course it seems to make sense" because it is an idea that is specifically DESIGNED to feel like it answers every question of every form, physical, metaphysical, ethical, etc. I say "appears" because I do not see that it really does answer anything at all; it merely places a label on that which we do not understand. If you have not read my comments above concerning the idea of a homunculus, please do. Your god concept (and that of Van Til) is nothing more than a fancy homunculus; it's nothing more than a psychologically appealing label, and all it does is pass the buck.

If you disagree with that (and I don't see how you could possibly agree), then you can begin to persuade me otherwise by doing the following:

1) Give some examples of questions (in science, perhaps) that are "answered" by your god concept, and in a VERIFIABLE way. Put another way, I'm asking for you to use your god concept to INFER or PREDICT something about the world that I can verify, at least in principle. This is precisely what scientific theories such as evolution do, and it's one of the major reasons that such theories gain such a high degree of credibility.

2) Give some examples of things that would count AGAINST the existence of your purported creator, should they ever be observed. Again, every scientific theory (including evolution) has this property of falsifiability, which is one way to ensure that the theory is rooted in reality, not pure fantasy.

I'm not going to dissect the Van Til quote line by line, for that would take me all day (and I have other work to do). But here are a few specific lines that I think are quite revealing:

Quote 1: "But I look at both of them [order and disorder] in the light of the Great Orderer Who is back of them."

Van Til's point (I'm assuming throughout that it is Van Til; please correct me if I am wrong about that) is that everything makes sense through his theistic lens. I agree wholeheartedly; everything DOES make sense TO HIM (and, by extension, to you). But "making sense" in this context is merely a mental state of acquiescence; it categorically DOES NOT imply the same sorts of things that we mean when a scientific theory "makes sense", such as providing new predictions, revealing hitherto unseen connections that can now be objectively OBSERVED, and suggesting numerous new ways in which an idea might be FALSIFIED if it is in fact false.

Quote 2: "I see the strong men of biology searching diligently through hill and dale to prove that the creation doctrine is not true with respect to the human body, only to return and admit that the missing link is missing still."

There are numerous misstatements like this in the piece you quote. The author makes many sweeping assertions like this that are woefully inaccurate in several aspects. If you wish to take this subject seriously, you'll need to test the author's assertions to see if they hold up. I contend that in nearly every criticism that he levels toward science, he is either factually incorrect (as above), exaggerating extravagantly, or making wild conjectures (also as above, concerning their motivation).

Quote 3: "And yet I find all these, though standing on their heads, reporting much that is true. I need only to turn their reports right side up, making God instead of man the center of it all, and I have a marvelous display of the facts as God has intended me to see them."

This is my favorite quote, and I may use it henceforth in my discussions with religionists. Val Til asserts that it is science that has it upside down, while he has it right side up. Yet it is Van Til who places the cart well before the horse in assuming from the outset that there is a creator, and subsequently forcing all observations to conform to this idea. Is it any surprise that he (and most religionists for that matter) see vindication at every turn? Not at all, because they have already granted themselves the most fantastic of all explanations, right up front, before asking a single interesting question.

By the way, you have promised several times now that you will begin to reveal your scientific and/or logical reasons for the existence of a creator. As yet you have not come close to that; you've merely asserted your belief, and quoted others who assert their belief. I'm still waiting for some evidence; I'm still waiting for the horse to pull the cart.

Jim Arvo said...

RD, I'd like to share several of my favorite quotes as well.

"It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true."

From "On the Value of Scepticism," by Bertrand Russell. (See http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/russell4.htm)

"It is obvious that the most indispensable requisite in regard to Religion is that it should be true. No specious hopes or flattering promises can have the slightest value unless they be genuine and based on substantial realities. Fear of the results of investigation should deter no man, for the issue in any case is gain: emancipation from delusion or increase of assurance. It is poor honour to sequester a creed from healthy handling, or to shrink from the serious examination of its doctrines. That which is true in Religion cannot be shaken; that which is false no one can desire to preserve."

From "Supernatural Religion: An Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation," by Walter Cassels, 1874. (See http://freethought.vze.com/)

I think it quite possible that you will agree with the sentiments of the above quotes. However, there is a vast difference between assenting and adhering. If you truly do agree, then you will try to focus on enumerating and critically examining the REASONS for adopting your views, rather than simply asserting them in different guises.

Anonymous said...

"...I'm still waiting for the horse to pull the cart."

Yes, that quote also failed to show how the 'great orderer' and the bible god are the same character...

Anonymous said...

Here's a good quote on the 'reversing' things theme...

"Referring to Copernicus's theory that the sun was the center of the solar system, Martin Luther exclaimed, "This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”
- (Tischreden, 1743, Vol. 22, page 2260.)

Jim Arvo said...

RD, here is a very apropos web page that just came to my attention a few minutes ago. The author makes essentially the same point I've been making.

http://atheism.about.com/b/a/229144.htm?nl=1

Anonymous said...

Jim Wrote:
By the way, you have promised several times now that you will begin to reveal your scientific and/or logical reasons for the existence of a creator.

As yet you have not come close to that; you've merely asserted your belief, and quoted others who assert their belief. I'm still waiting for some evidence; I'm still waiting for the horse to pull the cart.


Have to disagre Jim... I posted a legitimate website for the open minded sceptic (http://www.icr.org/) to show that there are indeed christian scientists every bit as bright, educated, and diligent in their studies as secualr scientists,...and yet my site was dismissed by the members on the site.

Not very open minded of you all.

In fact I have come to a conclusion.

You attract "professional christianity haters" here.
I mean really good god haters.
Educated, well read...but in reality have no plausible explanation for 2 events.

The Origin of Earth and Man
and
The life of Jesus Christ.

It really boils down to that.

You have no evidence that Earth and the Universe in fact was Created. In your zeal to dismiss troubling meories of your former faith...you refuse to deal with these 2 main issues.

And I dont buy for a second your "something Can come from nothing " theory.

Nonsense.

We have a watch....we have a watch maker

We have a Car..we have a car maker.

We have a wonderfully constructed Planet..just right for optimal existance by its most intelligent inhabitants(us)
so it stands to reason we have a Ceator, or Maker..as with the watch and the Car illustration.
Common sense.

More importantly..we have Jesus Christ.
Undeniably lived, performed hundreds of miracles...was crucified, sealed in a Tomb..and rose the 3rd day.

He was not only seen by thousands then...he continus to show Himself to all who are willing to look today

I am sorry for all the hurt, damage and mis-deeds done in the past by religious people...AND I am willing to readily admit that even true christians have done...and continue to do things wrong

We are not perfect.

I have more than enough evidence that convinces me that The God of the Bible is my Creator and my friend.
He has helped me through so many impossible times... and he has helped others as well.

Not religion.
Not denominations or Religious Institutions like the horrors of the Roman Catholic Church.

Real, sincere, loving believers give evidence every day that we serve a living Savior.

200 direct Old Tstament prophecies predicting the Birth and Life of Jesus...every single one was fulfilled.

I have no reason to doubt that all current and future events that the Bible predicts will ALSO come to pass.

Jesus is THE difference Jim. I said at the beginning..the christian faith rides or falls on the claims of Jesus Christ.

2000 years later the Worlds attention is focused on the Middle East..the Bible Lands so to speak.
A coincidence??????

I think not.

It is where it all began...and it is where it will all end.

I am thankful for the shed blood on Calvary's Cross that saves from sin, and sets men and women Free.

God will have the Final say...not me..nor you.

RD

Anonymous said...

RD Yeah draging a filthy begger through town and flogging his ass and then nailing him on the cross, thats sure to save sins alright.

RD you're so pathetic, it's so sickning to listen to the foolish nonsense garbage that you've chosen to prescribe to.

Take your phoney make believe God and shove him up your self-righteous biggoted ass hole, you filthy pent. I think we've all heard more than enough of your silly useless rhetoric. Lick me bum with yer fucking tongue.

Anonymous said...

RD: "The Origin of Earth and Man
and The life of Jesus Christ."

Okay, RD, who said, anyone had to "have", an answer to the cosmological arguments presented. A person of religion, states that it is a necessity, to "have" to answer that question. Why? What gives a religious person, the right to demand that someone else consider their "conundrums" in life? A religious person has "zero", information to provide anyone in that matter or capacity. They create this "need", and then attempt to "fill the need".

The life of Jesus? Which version, the Jewish version, the Gnostic version, etc? Not one NT book is authored by a character named Jesus, most all of the books are unauthored, or have "speculative" authorship... Which "body" of evidence are you using to create a well-balanced view of the life of a Jesus?

RD: "200 direct Old Tstament prophecies predicting the Birth and Life of Jesus...every single one was fulfilled."

Okay, you are showing your ignorance, you must be cutting and pasting... First of all, Matthew refers to Isaiah as the birth of the OT Jewish Messiah, Isaiah, lived ~600BCE, and a child was born per the OT in "Isaiah's" lifetime. Jesus wasn't even a name for at least six-hundred years.

The OT Jewish Messiah, was to be from the house of David, Jesus, is said to have been born of a ghost. uh, that means, no lineage for him. Upon the arrival of the Messiah, according to the OT, the Jews were supposed to build the third temple - never happened. The Jews upon the coming of the Messiah, were supposed to be brought into the promised land, and their New Kingdom, where all people worshipped under "one" god, the Jewish God. The fact, that you worship a "Christianized" god, makes your rhetoric all the more laughable, as you yourself, have become 'evidence' that Jesus was not The Prophesied Jewish Messiah.

If you knew, even a modicum of Jewish culture, you would know that they had "many" messiah's over time, and they were all just mortal men, sent to do the job for the Jewish god. Jesus, was not supposed to just be a mortal, he was said to be a demi-god, half man, half god.

If you knew, the NT, you would know that Paul, predicted that the apostles would meet Jesus, before they tasted death. the apostles are dead, and, again the character Jesus came up short, as he didn't show. You really need to do some religious research, and quit quoting someone's web site. It shows your insincerity, and inability to form a logical thought.

If you actually believe Jesus was "The" Jewish Messiah, that was sent to bring about the fulfillment of the OT prophesies, then, visit this web site.

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/jews-jesus/jews-jesus-index.html

If you get the Jews, to concede that Jesus was in "fact", their Messiah, and that the holocaust was part of their paradise vacation package, then please return, and provide information on how you were able to convince the Orthodox Jews, that they just somehow missed the fulfillment of "their" OT prophesies. Get ready to have your butt spanked, if you don't know their Jewish Tanakh, or as you would know it, the Hebrew OT.

If you were the Real Deal, I am sure you will be able to convince the Jews of their most foolish error. Hope to see you back with all of that knowledge.

Anonymous said...

RD, your interpretation of Matt. 23:13 is absurd...

cdmon said...

RD said: "I posted a legitimate website for the open minded sceptic (http://www.icr.org/) to show that there are indeed christian scientists every bit as bright, educated, and diligent in their studies as secualr scientists,...and yet my site was dismissed by the members on the site.

Not very open minded of you all.

In fact I have come to a conclusion.

You attract "professional christianity haters" here.
I mean really good god haters."


I guess you overlooked the post that stated irc.org was a very biased and one sided site, not very objective. How can it possibly be taken seriously?

Professional god haters...?

No we do not hate your god, we just don't believe he exists. How can you hate something you don't believe in?

What we do hate is having people coming here trying to shove their belief down our throats.

RD said: "More importantly..we have Jesus Christ.
Undeniably lived, performed hundreds of miracles...was crucified, sealed in a Tomb..and rose the 3rd day.

He was not only seen by thousands then...he continus to show Himself to all who are willing to look today."

He was not only seen by thousands then... I suppose you mean "then" as being after he allegedly rose from the grave. If that is what you mean by that statement... I would like you to show me where in the gospels it says he appeared to thousands after he arose, otherwise it is complete conjecture. You're painting a picture that is not accurate.

And continues to show himself??? To anyone willing to look???
(Some really bad visuals on that one)

Really, I've been looking, but he still hasn't made any personal appearance. Like I've posted countless times, if you could arrange a personal appearance you'd change all of our minds in one fell swoop.

I guess from what you are saying is if we look hard enough, he will expose himself?

Can I ask you something? Did you accidently get hit in the head by a blunt object and pass out on the floor of the men's room? That might explain such an hallucination.

rd said: "Educated, well read...but in reality have no plausible explanation for 2 events.

The Origin of Earth and Man
and
The life of Jesus Christ.

It really boils down to that."


Basically, neither do you. We have science and even though science may not have all the answers, it is honorable enough to correct itself when it is proven wrong.

Xianity claims to explain everything, but contains so much contradiction and absurdities it cannot be taken seriously.

If there was as much evidence as you claim there is science would have proven his existance by now, don't you think?
But with no body, there can be no forensic studies. In fact history says very little of the nazz outside the bible. Just the words of a small handful who claim they saw him not thousands as you have asserted.

rd said: "I am sorry for all the hurt, damage and mis-deeds done in the past by religious people...AND I am willing to readily admit that even true christians have done...and continue to do things wrong

We are not perfect."

How nice... Then exactly what good is it to serve the nazz if he doesn't make that noticable a change in your life? Please explain?

rd said: "I have more than enough evidence that convinces me that The God of the Bible is my Creator and my friend."

It appears to me that your evidence is just as invisible as your god. I've seen some children with invisible friends, but generally they lose them when they grow up.

rd said: "200 direct Old Tstament prophecies predicting the Birth and Life of Jesus...every single one was fulfilled.

I have no reason to doubt that all current and future events that the Bible predicts will ALSO come to pass."

Don't you see that these same so called prophecies claim to be fullfilled within the very same bible itself. Many you have to use quite a stretch of logic to make them work. That is circular logic. The bible must be true, because it says it's true, and because it says it's true it must be true so you believe it hook line and sinker.

You might say because weather and siesmic activity is occuring, that is a fulfillment of prophecy... Or current world events that are prophetic fulfillment. This only goes to show how open the bible is to interpretation.

As far as the earth, she has shown relatively less activity that other times in earth history. So sorry the signs and wonders do not validate the so called prophecy.

But on that note, what of the prophecy that the nazz gave to his disciples that he would return in their lifetimes? This one went totally unfulfilled and within the timespan of the bible.

They have a name for those who make prophecies that do not come to pass.... False Prophets.

rd said: "Jesus is THE difference Jim. I said at the beginning..the christian faith rides or falls on the claims of Jesus Christ."

Faith in someone who lied? Faith in a false prophet?

But go ahead and keep going through the motions, you have that right as an American. We won't stop you. Just respect our right not to, and stop spewing that stuff here, I'm gonna have to get my waders on cause it's getting pretty thick. It works much better for fertilizer.

rd said: "2000 years later the Worlds attention is focused on the Middle East..the Bible Lands so to speak.
A coincidence??????

I think not."

The world is focused on the Middle East because of all the tension going on over there. There is a war going on and a lot of our men and women are over there in harms way. What is really happening in the middle east has far more to do with oil than any false prophet I'm afraid.

Now to address your something from nothing statement, it begs the question, what did god use to create the universe? You allude to everything needing a cause...
i.e. car> carmaker, watch> watch maker. Was there a god maker?

Well I have an answer for that one. Man created god in his image, that is why the bible god tends to take on some of the worse attributes of humanity. Lying, killing, bigotry, hatred, psychotic rage, jealousy etc... etc... No omniscient deity could ever be that uhhhhh, Human.

As far as how earth got here, in all honesty, no one knows that for sure. Cause I can say with all assurance that the bible did not get it right. Too many holes in it's story. All we have is science, and eventually science will figure it out.

As for how we got here I think I explained that to you earlier.

And as for being set free, you sound far more like you are in bondage. If you are saved, good for you, now get on with your life. But don't be too sure of yourself.

You know about 25 years ago I too accepted the nazz. And I have come to terms with the memories of it... That is why I am an ex-xian.
For me to go back to xianity would be like backsliding, or a dog returning to it's own vomit.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Winky wrote:

RD Yeah draging a filthy begger through town and flogging his ass and then nailing him on the cross, thats sure to save sins alright.

RD you're so pathetic, it's so sickning to listen to the foolish nonsense garbage that you've chosen to prescribe to.

Take your phoney make believe God and shove him up your self-righteous biggoted ass hole, you filthy pent. I think we've all heard more than enough of your silly useless rhetoric. Lick me bum with yer fucking tongue.

***************************

Dear "Winky"
I am not self-rightous
I am not biggoted
And most people who know me, even the ones who dont really like me....would say I fall well short of being an "asshole:...as I am familiar with the type of person who fits that description.

You are obviously hurting,and filled with anger at God, your parents, life..who knows.

Your last sentence speaks volumes....

Let go of the hate Winky..Jesus Christ loves you....like it or not~

RD

Anonymous said...

Reality wrote
"If you get the Jews, to concede that Jesus was in "fact", their Messiah, and that the holocaust was part of their paradise vacation package, then please return, and provide information on how you were able to convince the Orthodox Jews, that they just somehow missed the fulfillment of "their" OT prophesies. Get ready to have your butt spanked, if you don't know their Jewish Tanakh, or as you would know it, the Hebrew OT.
**************************<


Fortunately there are many Jewish converts to Christianity who have been raised in Orthodox and non-Orthodox Judiasm...and have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
One of my favorites is Zola Levitt

You can find his story here:
http://www.levitt.com/essays/zolastory.html

You might want to also check out

http://www.forjewsforjesus.org/

It is amazing when a Jewish person recieves Christ as their Lord....they make some of the finest evangelists and teachers I have ever known.

I guess I shouldnt be surprised...God has shown his favoritism and Abrahamic Blessing on His chosen people for centuries

Any serious student of human behavior or Sociology
will testify to the fact that for a group of people so small numerically (Jews)...an unprecedented number of inventors, scientists, and great people have been of direct Jewish descent.
That fact goes against all statistics of how many great people have come from such a small pool of individuals.

http://www.aish.com/societyWork/society/WORLD_PERFECT_The_Jewish_Impact_on_Civilization.asp

RD

Anonymous said...

RD, when you convert the nation of Israel, let us know. And, again, the OT prophesies did not come to fulfillment at the time a Jesus was said to have existed. The Jewish Talmud doesn't even mention a Jesus until ~600CE.

The only reason there are probably converts, from Judaism, is that the smarter ones, know its all based on "faith", anyway, there is "zero" proof of a historical Jesus who was supposed to be a demi-god walking the earth. Most Jews will concede there may have been a Rabbi Jesus who lived, or maybe even a humanitarial or prophet named Jesus, but, not "The" Jewish Messiah. The other reasons I could guess for a convert to leave Judaism, is based on their exclusivity. You can not marry a non-Jew, and they are still the "chosen" people, i.e., Christians, aren't and are not clean.

Again, when you come back here and are capable of proving that the Jews are living in their new kingdom, let me know. I will ensure I get in contact with a Rabbi, and make sure you are aware of why the Jewery denounces Jesus as a demi-god on the whole. If you accept Jesus as just a prophet, then, he is just a mortal doing the work of the lord. If one can define what "lord" means.

Again, look forward to you coming here and presenting your argument on how the Jews are living in their New Kingdom, while they are still under persecution. If you are entirely in denial, then at least explain why the "Jewish" god, just flipped out and changed his mind and instead of just accepting the Jewish nation as the chosen people, started accepting all gentiles as Paul preached. Remember, the Jews in Exodus prophesied also, there would be "false" prophets. And, to many Jews, Jesus fit the bill according to scripture. He didn't keep the Torah laws, i.e., didn't keep the Sabbath day holy, etc., etc., and if the bible is to be taken as "truth", then Jesus taught against the Jewish law, a blasphemous act to the Jews in their era, and also prophesied, i.e., false prophets will come and attempt to corrupt the Jewish nation.

If "any", prophesy did come to pass, its that the Jesus portrayed in the bible, fills the all out evil "false" prophet description down to the letter. Its why the Jews in their Talmud, finally declare him as a blasphemer, and worthy of death, and they describe his death, in detail, to include Jesus boiling in excrement, etc.

Again, looking forward to you finding that information.

Anonymous said...

And, not that it really matters, because we know if the OT prophesies were never fulfilled, that the NT was just a canonization of letters and scripts collected together to support the Roman Church vote, on the divinity of Jesus. If you want that information, regarding the NT forgeries, here.

http://home.inu.net/skeptic/ntforge.html

I have had the debate with many Christians, and they have "all" failed miserably to explain the shortcomings, edits, etc., in the NT. However, its easy once one knows how the NT was constructed. RD, you, "do", know how the NT was constructed, right. And, you "do", know, that the OT prophesies were not fulfilled right.

Anonymous said...

Cdmon wrote:
He was not only seen by thousands then... I suppose you mean "then" as being after he allegedly rose from the grave. If that is what you mean by that statement... I would like you to show me where in the gospels it says he appeared to thousands after he arose, otherwise it is complete conjecture. You're painting a picture that is not accurate.


No problen Cdmon...Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 15:6
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.


Luke wrote:

Acts 1:3
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:


RD

Anonymous said...

The Book Of Acts - "It is worth noting, however, that no ancient source actually mentions Acts by name prior to AD 177. If it was composed prior to then, no one spoke of it by that name, or at least no one whose writings have survived down to the present day."

"External evidence now points to the existence of Acts at least as early as the opening years of the 2nd century. As evidence for the Third Gospel holds equally for Acts, its existence in Marcion's day (120–140) is now assured. Further, the traces of it in Polycarp 6 and Ignatius 7 when taken together are highly probable; and it is even widely admitted that the resemblance of Acts 13:22 and First Clement 18:1, in features not found in Psalms 89:20 quoted by each, can hardly be accidental. That is, Acts was probably current in Antioch and Smyrna not later than circa 115, and perhaps in Rome as early as circa 96.

With this view internal evidence agrees. In spite of some advocacy of a date prior to AD 70, the bulk of critical opinion is decidedly against it."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_acts

What this suggests, is that the writings put together to create the Book of Acts, didn't occur, until after 177CE. The internal writings, don't appear to have been written any earlier than 70CE even for a liberal historian. A few questions, come to mind. One, if jesus was a demi-god, and died, why did it take over seventy years, by historical consensus, to publish something even, in the smallest of writings, i.e., letters, etc. There wasn't one statue created in his name during his time of death, and no archeological evidence of that era.

The credibility of Acts, giving a full account of an incident, with letters written ~35 years after the fact, in itself diminishes the truth of the event, as astounding as it should have been, I mean, how often does a god die. It would have been written about, by just about every religious group, to include the less religious of the time.

There are other books which describe the resurrection story. Take Mark for instance, and his writings.

"Mark 16 is the final chapter of the Gospel of Mark. There is much debate about the ending of Mark, and many textual problems—there are nine different endings known—but most of the debate focuses around the so-called ‘longer’ ending (16:9-20). There is strong evidence that these verses are not part of the original document, but rather an ancient ‘completion’ of it."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16

Again, hate to rain on the parade here for you Real Deal, but, the NT is nothing but a bunch of letters thrown together, to support a vote at the First Council of Nicaea. It was "after" that vote, that the NT was canonized, and only "certain" documents were accepted. The synoptics are questionable regarding authorship, i.e., sole source authorship. The OT prophesies were never fulfilled, and the NT was slapped together, long after said event was to have taken place. Oh, with no, letter, etc., provided from the time frame a Jesus was supposed to have been crucified.

So, there are different accounts of the resurrection, depending on how someone wants to read the bible. Because, different people wrote the bible, it wasn't god inspired nor god breathed. If it is, then god is both schizophrenic, and incompetent, and it took him over 2,500 years to get it all out of his mouth.

webmdave said...

"You are obviously hurting,and filled with anger at God, your parents, life..who knows."

Winky is not "obviously" anything at all except maybe a person prone to using vulgar expletives when frustrated.

"Let go of the hate Winky..Jesus Christ loves you....like it or not~"

Let go of the invisible friend RD..he's just pretend....like it or not~

Paul said that over 500 had claimed to have seen Jesus, all at the same time, no less! That's what he apparently wrote anyway. Over 500 is a far cry from thousands.

Regardless, there are many witnesses that claim to have seen UFOs too, crowds of people at the same time attest to these visions.

Big Foot has been spotted a few times himself. Loch Ness, now there's a monster. I wonder where Elvis will be showing up next?

Seriously, how about reported appearances of Mary? Do purported appearances of Mary make Catholicism the one true faith? Do you believe Mary is appearing to people based on all the reports?

An angel appeared to Joseph Smith, or so it's been said. I guess Mormonism is true?

Reports of seeing ghosts in haunted houses, what about them?

muttmutt1978 said...

a lawyer. that made the really high score on his sat. well you can be well educated without common sense you know. and Hitler was christian. damn theres one thing i cnat stand its patholigical liars for christianity. Hitler admitted in mien Kampf he served Jesus. asshole.

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "I posted a legitimate website for the open minded sceptic (http://www.icr.org/) to show that there are indeed christian scientists every bit as bright, educated, and diligent in their studies as secualr scientists,...and yet my site was dismissed by the members on the site."

I gave you a lengthy critique if ICS, and I explained EXACTLY why I do not find them the least bit credible. I'd wager a large sum of money that I have read and carefully examined far more of the rhetoric coming from ICR than you have. Please go back and read what I said about ICS on 12/28/2005.

RD: "Not very open minded of you all."

Your accusation of being closed minded does not square with what I said on 12/28/2005. (It's also rude.)

RD: "In fact I have come to a conclusion.... You attract 'professional christianity haters' here...."

You disappoint me, RD. I thought you had intended to discuss the evidence for a creator. I've consistently urged you to produce the evidence so we could examine it, and I've patiently explained to you exactly why I am not persuaded by various arguments. Now you turn to ugly ad hominem attacks. Why?

RD "...but in reality [the 'god haters'] have no plausible explanation for 2 events.... The Origin of Earth and Man
and The life of Jesus Christ."

Okay, I'm starting to get very repetitive here, but I'll say it once again, in a slightly different way. Even if science had no clue about either of those, it does not imply that there is a supernatural creator; asserting the latter is nothing more than an argument from ignorance, which is a logical fallacy.

RD: "You have no evidence that Earth and the Universe in fact was Created. In your zeal to dismiss troubling meories of your former faith...you refuse to deal with these 2 main issues."

I'm sorry, but that's rather incoherent. You are projecting a "zeal to dismiss" onto me (another ad hominem attack), asserting that something or other was "troubling" to me (based on what?), and apparently ignoring everything I've said concerning the two big questions you've raised. Moving on...

RD: "And I dont buy for a second your 'something Can come from nothing ' theory... Nonsense."

*MY* theory?! Please tell me how much research you've done regarding this. If you do a Google search on "vacuum fluctuation" or "virtual particles" you'll find a wealth of information, and detailed explanations of the theory as well as the physical experiments that substantiate the theory. Are you not the least bit curious?

To be quite frank, I find the theory hard to believe as well. But I remind myself that my intuition is honed for the macroscopic terrestrial world, where we never see things popping into existence. Then I refrain from projecting my prejudices onto the physical world. If you refuse to even consider the physical evidence for vacuum fluctuations, then it means you are more wedded to your prejudices than to rational inquiry. That's your right, of course, but it does rather dramatically limit what we can discuss rationally.

RD: "We have a watch....we have a watch maker... We have a Car..we have a car maker."

Those are facts that you are confident about through your knowledge of how such artifacts are made. You've seen such things being made. If you wish to apply the same reasoning to TOTALLY different classes of objects (e.g. organisms & quasars), then your entire argument must rest upon a loose analogy. Yet you do not even attempt to examine that analogy beyond a superficial feeling of similarity. There are several deep fallacies in this reasoning, which I have spelled out in detail many times at this site. (I'm going to forgo another rehashing of that subject here.)

RD: "...it stands to reason we have a Ceator, or Maker..as with the watch and the Car illustration. Common sense."

When you say "it stands to reason..." you seem to assert that there is solid reasoning behind your assertion. Yet you have not once articulated what that chain of reasoning is. If I told you that I have a jar of peanut butter in my cupboard, and that is evidence of life on Pluto, you would likely accuse me of making a rather large leap in my reasoning (if you were being exceptionally polite). Apparently then, simply calling something evidence does not make it evidence. You've called many things evidence, but you leave a gap comparable to that between peanut butter and Pluto.

RD: "More importantly..we have Jesus Christ.... Undeniably lived, performed hundreds of miracles...was crucified, sealed in a Tomb..and rose the 3rd day."

I've steered clear of that topic until now, as you seemed more interested in discussing "natural theology". You say that Jesus "undeniably lived." Well, that's another topic that I've been quite interested in for many years, and I disagree with your characterization very strongly. I think the evidence that a Rabi named "Jesus" walked this Earth roughly 2,000 years ago, and uttered even a small fraction of the sayings attributed to him in the NT is extremely weak at best. Have you read any of the dozens of scholarly books that argue the ahistoricity of Jesus? Can you name one or two of them?

RD: "He was not only seen by thousands then..."

You no doubt refer to the "multitudes" mentioned by Paul. Can you please tell me the name of a single one of those witnesses? How about gender or age. Can you tell me exactly what they saw or where they were then they saw it? Can you quote a single one of them? What evidence do you have for their existence other than that one sentence in Paul's epistle? Why did later evangelists (e.g. the gospel writers) never even mention this fact, let alone elaborate on it?

DR: "...he continus to show Himself to all who are willing to look today"

So if somebody does not see him, it's because they are not "willing to look". Is that right? Do you know that the "No True Scotsman" fallacy is?

RD: "I have more than enough evidence that convinces me that The God of the Bible is my Creator and my friend."

Yet you have not articulated what this evidence is, aside from loose analogies watches and cars, and by listing amazing facts about the universe without the slightest attempt at explaining why any of it should count as evidence of anything.

RD: "200 direct Old Tstament prophecies predicting the Birth and Life of Jesus...every single one was fulfilled."

That's a bit of church dogma that does not hold up to even modest scrutiny. Jesus (if he even existed) arguably failed to fulfill any of the true messianic prophecies in the OT (e.g. bringing world peace), and the fulfillments that are attributed to him fail on any of a number of counts: e.g. 1) they were not prophecies at all, but midrashic interpretations after the fact, 2) there is no corroborating evidence of the fulfillment, etc.

RD: "Jesus is THE difference Jim. I said at the beginning..the christian faith rides or falls on the claims of Jesus Christ."

Well then, it seems to fall. I've read extensively from both sides of the debate, and I don't think there is a trace of credible evidence to support the assertion that god himself walked this earth 2,000 years ago, for roughly 30 years, performing miracles for all to see, and spreading the most important message in the history of the universe. History is so shockingly silently on the matter that that alone strains credibility. Add to that the extensive evidence for the Jesus story accumulating more and more fantastic aspects over time, and the extensive borrowing from more ancient traditions, and you have a clear religious myth in the same league with every other religious myth.

RD: "2000 years later the Worlds attention is focused on the Middle East..the Bible Lands so to speak. A coincidence??????"

No coincidence at all, given the millions of ardent believers. I fail to see a single event that is unfolding today that is not adequately explained by BELIEF in the Bible (e.g. regarding territorial disputes), as opposed to the literal TRUTH of what the Bible says.

RD: "God will have the Final say...not me..nor you."

So I take it we're not going to see any of that evidence you've been promising?

cdmon said...

Rd,

Again you've alluded to something which points to a glaring contradiction...

How many believers were there at the time of the ascension?

Acts 1:3 does not address any number at all, so that is claim is reaching at best. But if we read on in the same chapter....

Acts 1:15, "And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty)"

120 or 500?

Still hardly accounts for the thousands you asserted. And a small handful in comparison. Since it is commonly alleged that Luke wrote the book of Acts, Luke's version would seem to be closer to being true (and I use that term hypothetically) than Paul's version.

And if you read my question correctly I asked you to show me in the gospels where it states that, by that account you have still failed. And you have still painted an inaccurate picture.

Read my sweeeeet calamus post. Small wonder they all claimed to see the nazz. Mass drug induced hallucinations.

Now lets examine these using Ockham's Razor... namely all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

It is far more logical that they were all high and hallucinating than they actually all saw the nazz after he allegedly arose from the dead.

And as usual the bible fails at keeping it's story straight. Like I had stated before, the bible contains some 50,000+ discrepancies, you've just uncovered one of them. 49,999 to go without explanation and without any accurate evidence.

Sorry RD try again...

Cheers

Anonymous said...

You mean there is no Jesus? What will I do? I can't breathe, I can't think, surely you jest, there is no Jesus!!! Huh?.

Wow I finally told my parents that I no longer believed in the mythical fallacious Biblical teachings and beliefs, thereby explaining my reasons why I no longer believe, they at the age of 75, my dad held his head down and said, "you're trying to shake our faith in Jesus" I said, your faith, Your faith? Is that all you have, is faith? Faith being what? What is faith? I've never seen such grown adults act like 2 year old children, I was ashamed to have witnessed such expression of total insanity and grief. I felt a great weight lift from me when I told them, about my disbelief and at the same time I could not believe that I was seeing the inner brainwashing of insane capacity of two people that help bring me into this world, it was if I was the bearer of catastrophic news, and then they said it was Satan the devil, that did not want me to see the truth. Of course they slid right by the devil and found the truth in Jesus Christ. I'm sitting here laughing as I type this ridiculous nonsense. I do not know how to help these people escape their mental infusion of insane hypocrisy. There is no short display of words that can loosen the grip of the insane rhetoric of brainwashing. So my conclusion is that Santa and all mythical fantasies were replaced by the adult myth, Jesus Christ the savior, the savior of the entire world, just mention his name and he will save your soul, how friggen ridiculous, such stupid nonsense.
Real Deal reminds me so much of my parents, it's just down right scary to read RD's responces and his reasoning. My parents secretly hate Arabs, blacks, and other ethical groups because they themselves are white, they would not even welcome an Arab dressed in their traditional dress into their home, but they gladly bet their entire being and have gave up their common sense and have devoted their entire life on a belief that was written by Arabs or by African descent Negroids. Are they prejudice? Yes very much, they do not even speak to and avoid blacks and others of ethnic descent, but yet they insist in believing something that was written down by someone of ethnic descent, I'm sure that they have slept with the Bible in their hands, and most people would love to meet their demise with the Bible in their hands at the moment of death, but most white people will readily reject anything written by people of racial descent. Are you like this too Real Deal? Are you the Real Deal or the Fake Deal? We all here pity you RD, because you are one of them, no not saved, but enslaved by a belief, RD you are a mental slave to your fairytale Jesus, you came on here with the pretence of learning something but your true colors where to sneak in here to proselytise to us sinners. RD you are a snake in the grass, you represent deceit and deception, RD you are as fake as a 9 dollar bill. you only represent RD and his silly childhood beliefs. RD you represent the pilgrims whom came over here to worship in secret, the words of an African descent Negroid, that was the original religious persecution. Boatloads of whites came over to America so as not to be persecuted by worshipping something written down by Arabs or Negroids. This is truth RD, not what you want to believe.

Anonymous said...

Why does this Raw Deal (Real Deal my ass) person continues and allowed to post here?

Anonymous said...

Raw Deal said: "More importantly..we have Jesus Christ.
Undeniably lived, performed hundreds of miracles...was crucified, sealed in a Tomb..and rose the 3rd day."

Nah! Don't tell me it's the same Jesus character that a bunch of old toothless pedophiliac Roman Catholic men argued over concerning it's divinity!

Har har.

Anonymous said...

Real Deal is a typical christian, twisting scripture to make it mean what he wants it to mean. I can't help but notice that we ex-christians read the bible and see it for what it says. Christians tend to read it and see what they want to see.

Anonymous said...

Real Deal tells us that Christ was seen by "thousands" after his alleged "resurrection." When asked to back up his claim, he quotes a passage in scripture that tells us that Christ was seen by "above five hundred," not "thousands!"

This is a tactic which the christian church uses. All too often, christians are deceived by this into believing in the great lie called christianity...

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that Jesus is seen and talked to on a daily basis by people like RD, Carmen, Billy G. Jerry F. Pat R. and all other mentally deranged christians.

Anonymous said...

RD, your explanation of Matt. 23:13 just doesn't hold water.

Christianity is nonsense.

Jim Arvo said...

Hi Slingshot,

It's funny how religionists don't appear to see any difference between "above five hundred" and "thousands"; what's a little exaggeration if it's for the glorification of the LORD? (By the way, they also lose the distinction between corroborated "facts" and claims made within an epistle or gospel. Paul's epistle says there were many witnesses, so Paul must have said it, and thus there were many witnesses!) This reminds me of a great quote by David Hume:

"Every virtue, every excellence, must be ascribed to the divinity, and no exaggeration will be deemed sufficient to reach those perfections, with which he is endowed. Whatever strains of panegyric can be invented, are immediately embraced, without consulting any arguments of phenomena: It is esteemed a sufficient confirmation of them, that they give us more magnificent ideas of the divine objects of our worship and adoration."

One can see this behavior all the time, especially among fundamentalists. To me this is most revealing. They do not see that they are indulging the very SAME impulse as the early church fathers, who's "innocent" exaggerations (not to mention midrashic inventions) ultimately became canonized scripture. This appears to be a common tendency within all oral traditions (and religions in general), as everybody loves a good story, and what's the harm in making a good story even better?

I also find it revealing that there seems to have been no effort within the church at any stage of history to curb the inevitable exaggeration that would accompany any such miraculous stories. How is it that every other oral tradition succumbs to the snowball effect, accumulating more and more embellishment through time, yet the Jesus stories somehow remained purely factual? (That's a rhetorical question, of course.)

So, here is an open challenge to the believers who visit this site. Can you find any examples, particularly among the first- and second-century Christians, of believers who strove to counteract inevitable embellishment? Did any of the early church fathers admonish those who inflated the numbers, or snuck in another anecdote, or harmonized existing stories? Did anyone say "Wait a minute, Jesus didn't feed 4,000 people; it was more like 2,500."?

Here's a fun little experiment that I urge everybody to try. Turn on the TV some Sunday morning and watch any of the televangelists. See how smoothly the work in their own interpretations, stating them as fact. They exhibit no desire to check their facts, or to inhibit those wild "strains of panegyric," as Hume put it. In fact, that seems to be part of the preacher affectation. Each strives to outdo the other in expressing how magnificent their deity is; it's all fair game, so long as is glorifies the LORD. Whence all religions.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. I should have used "hundreds" instead of thousands. I did not intend to mis-lead. Scriptures only back up around 500. I guess I mispoke because in m mind, I know that since Jesus live 33 years...he was probabley seen by thousands during his life...but the Scriptures can only authenticate 500...after his death.

I was wrong in my statement.

What are we to do with the 500 however? Assume they were liars?

What about the fact that 2000 years later...most of the 6billion souls on Planet Earth have heard about Jesus at some point in their life?
I would say this one man has made quite an impact...especially since his public ministry time was roughly 3 and 1/2 years.
Eleven of his 12 disciples were murdered rather then be forced to admit a lie...namely that their claims, experience and eyewitness accounts were false.
In my opinion they were pretty convinced.

http://www.themoorings.org/apologetics/resurrection/resur1.html

And by the way...I too loathe the fact that Televangelists have made "worship" a performance....and thus leave a bad taste in the spiritual mouths of many christians and non-christians alike.
I however do not have to answer to God for their sin
only my own.

RD

Anonymous said...

Ooops...I forgot this

Joh 20:30
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

Joh 20:31
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Joh 21:25
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

freeman said...

Real Deal,
" What are we to do with the 500 however? Assume they were liars?"

There is no personal account from these "500" individuals. It was the author's interpretation/imagination, but far from verifiable!

freeman said...

Real Deal,
“What about the fact that 2000 years later...most of the 6billion souls on Planet Earth have heard about Jesus at some point in their life?
I would say this one man has made quite an impact..."

What about Buddha? He, without a doubt due to the overwhelming evidence, did in fact walk this earth 2500 years ago. Tons of material written by him and even more about him while he was still alive!

Now, your god came down on earth in the flesh and blood, he did miracles and tons of godly things, yet no one bothered to write any of it down as it occurred! Why did it take so long to write the "gospels" about the most important event to ever occur on earth?

Anonymous said...

Raw Deal: “What about the fact that 2000 years later...most of the 6billion souls on Planet Earth have heard about Jesus at some point in their life?
I would say this one man has made quite an impact..."

Come on now, let us have it! I'm twitching with excietment. I know that you will pray for us to see the light before it's too late, right? Right - because that's all you have left in your bag of tricks. Are you the jester of the courts?

You are one funny chap..

Later fundie

Jim Arvo said...

RD: "What are we to do with the 500 however? Assume they were liars?"

That was very predictable. You ignored my previous comments on this. Quoting from my previous post "Can you please tell me the name of a single one of those witnesses? How about gender or age. Can you tell me exactly what they saw or where they were then they saw it? Can you quote a single one of them? What evidence do you have for their existence other than that one sentence in Paul's epistle? Why did later evangelists (e.g. the gospel writers) never even mention this fact, let alone elaborate on it?"

In other words, you know NOTHING about those 500. All you have a few words on a page with no detail and no corroboration whatsoever. I might add that Paul provides no information on how he knows this to be so.

RD: "What about the fact that 2000 years later...most of the 6billion souls on Planet Earth have heard about Jesus at some point in their life?"

I'd estimate that a comparable number have heard of Buddha, Allah, and Krishna. What do you make of that?

RD: " In my opinion they were pretty convinced."

I'd say the Muslim extremists who flew planes into the World Trade Center were fairly convinced too. Does that mean they were right?

RD, quoting John 20:31: "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God..."

EXACTLY!! Can you say hagiography?! John makes it quite plain that his mission is to instill belief, not to record objective history. Such tracts have been written about countless divine figures, including saints. See "Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story" by Richard Carrier for an other examples of such writing, and why it should be taken with a very small grain of salt: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/

RD quoting John 21:25: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."

Is that supposed to be convincing? Not only is this uncorroborated hearsay, but it is completely vacuous--there is absolutely nothing in that assertion that can even be checked! I think such hyperbole requires a high degree of credulity. Why on earth would you find rhetoric such as this to be compelling, but (presumably) not the SIGNED and DATED letters attesting to the existence of the gold tablets from which Joseph Smith copied the Book of Mormon?

cdmon said...

Rd said:"I stand corrected. I should have used "hundreds" instead of thousands. I did not intend to mis-lead. Scriptures only back up around 500. I guess I mispoke because in m mind, I know that since Jesus live 33 years...he was probabley seen by thousands during his life...but the Scriptures can only authenticate 500...after his death."

That goes to show how easy it is for the stories to get twisted. How many times have you twisted the stories over the pulpit and misled your flock?

Even such a little mistake on this site will get ripped to shreads. Your not dealing with an ignorant flock that will believe everything you say as gospel, just cause you say it doesn't make it true. I think this point has been proven.

Rd said, "What are we to do with the 500 however? Assume they were liars?"

No, we do not have their written testimony. We only have the buy bulls account, which in one place claims only 120. If the buy bull can't even keep the stories straight, how is it that men can derive any sense of truth from it?

Sorry, the bible is suspect at best. You have failed to clear up this discrepancy, and you expect us to take it's words as god breathed?

rd said: "Eleven of his 12 disciples were murdered rather then be forced to admit a lie...namely that their claims, experience and eyewitness accounts were false.
In my opinion they were pretty convinced."

Perhaps they were forced to tell the truth!!!

rd said (in an earlier post): "You attract "professional christianity haters" here.
I mean really good god haters.
Educated, well read...but in reality have no plausible explanation for 2 events.

The Origin of Earth and Man
and
The life of Jesus Christ.

It really boils down to that."

Since you've made this blanket statement, perhaps you can clear up another problem with your belief. I'm going to make this very simple for you. Okay.... are you ready? Here it is....

Who was Joseph's (betrothed to Mary, mother of the nazz)father?

Since we apparently have no clue about the life of the nazz, as you have asserted, perhaps you can enlighten us on this point.

I look forward to hearing your answer and explanation.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

RD: "I was wrong in my statement."

Well, at least you're honest.

RD: "What are we to do with the 500 however? Assume they were liars?"

RD, I know how hard this must be for you, but... the books, etc., that finally made it into the NT of the bible, did so, because of a vote at the First Council of Nicaea... There were plenty of versions of texts, that were deliberately "left out", because a group of "men" (Roman Church), refused to "believe" and have "faith", that "others" may have been divinely inspired in their writings... for instance;

"The Secret Book of John (Apocryphon of John) are two distinct 2nd century gnostic texts of secret teachings, which are given a Christian context: "the teaching of the saviour, and the revelation of the mysteries and the things hidden in silence, even these things which he taught John, his disciple", are its opening words. John is immediately specified as "John, the brother of James— who are the sons of Zebedee". One of the two distinct versions is thought to be the original on which the other was a large embellishment. The later version is also restructured to the extent that although both versions have the same themes, there is very little of the words and verses in common between them.

Many Christians in the 2nd century hoped to receive a transcendent personal revelation such as Paul was able to report to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 12:1 – 4) or that John experienced on the isle of Patmos, which inspired his Revelations (Pagels 2003, p 97 and bibliography at note 69). As Acts narrates what happened after the time Jesus ascended to heaven, so the Apocryphon of John begins at the same point but relates how Christ reappeared to the apostles, with private information that he imparted to Peter and John, "five hundred and fifty days since he had risen from the dead", thus specifically countering Luke's forty days and implying to its original hearers that the possibility of authentic revelation remained open.

The remainder of the book is a Rapture, in its original spiritual and rhetorical sense of a raptus, an ecstatic experience of heaven in the flesh, truly inspired in the sense "full of the spirit". At the book's conclusion:

"Peter and I gave thanks and sent our hearts upward toward heaven. We heard with our ears, and saw with our eyes, the noise of war, trumpets blaring and a great turmoil.And when we had passed beyond that place, we sent our minds farther upwards, and saw with our eyes and heard with our ears... angels rejoicing, as we too rejoiced. (Nag Hammadi Library, quoted by Pagels 2003 p 99)"

The Apocryphon of John was referred to by Irenaeus in Adversus Haereses, ca 185 AD among the writings that teachers in 2nd century Christian communities were producing, "an indescribable number of secret and illegitimate writings, which they themselves have forged, to bewilder the minds of foolish people, who are ignorant of the true scriptures" (A.H. 1.20.1) — scriptures which Irenaeus himself was establishing as no more and no less than four, the "Fourfold gospel" that his authority helped make the canonical four. Among the writings he quotes from in order to expose and refute them, which include a Gospel of Truth and even a Gospel of Judas, is this secret Book of John (Pagels 2003, p. 96 etc).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Book_of_John

"Gnosticism is a blanket term for various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools, which were most prominent in the first few centuries AD."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnostics

"Saint Irenaeus (ca. 130-202) was bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, which is now Lyons, France. He is recognized as a saint by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology."

"The high point in salvation history is Jesus. Irenaeus believes that Christ would always have been sent, even if humanity had never sinned; but the fact that they did sin determines his role as a savior. He sees Christ as the new Adam, who systematically undoes what Adam did: thus, where Adam was disobedient about the fruit of a tree, Christ was obedient even to death on the wood of a tree. Irenaeus is the first to draw comparisons between Eve and Mary, contrasting the faithlessness of the former with the faithfulness of the latter. In addition to reversing the wrongs done by Adam, Irenaeus thinks of Christ as "recapitulating" or "summing up" human life. This means that Christ goes through every stage of human life, from infancy to old age, and simply by living it, sanctifies it with his divinity. Irenaeus is therefore forced to argue that Christ did not die until he was quite old!"

Irenaeus Writings:
"In Book II, ch. 22, par. 5, he gives an intriguing note about Jesus being seen by several witnesses in Asia in his older age after crucifixion: ...but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irenaeus

Its quite obvioius that Irenaeus' mission was to take out the gnostics, who had their own Book of John, and its plainly evident this same individual preached that Jesus wasn't just thirty years old upon crucifixion; but between fourty to fifty years old... in order to make his theology have meaning... RD, its been said, again and again. You can't just look at one book in the bible, and swear it as the truth without looking at what was happening while those books were being written, who was writing them, what that authors' beliefs were, etc... Again, these books are either "all" inspired of a divine origin, or they are not

RD: "What about the fact that 2000 years later...most of the 6 billion souls on Planet Earth have heard about Jesus at some point in their life?"

You discount a major area of China... and, just because someone has heard of the god Zeus, doesn't make it universal truth...

RD: "Eleven of his 12 disciples were murdered rather then be forced to admit a lie...namely that their claims, experience and eyewitness accounts were false.
In my opinion they were pretty convinced."

Peter lied three times... go figure...

RD: "And by the way...I too loathe the fact that Televangelists have made "worship" a performance..."

Well, in a competitive market, it appears the performing arts know no bounds...

RD: "...and thus leave a bad taste in the spiritual mouths of many christians and non-christians alike. I however do not have to answer to God for their sin
only my own."

Sure, people don't like to be associated with those who tend to be the rotten apples... However, Paul is the original bad apple, he hijacked the Jews' Holy Book, and started his own little marketing tour, as an evangelist... I suppose it would be easy to pick out the rotten apples, if one were able to define a "true" christian...

Anonymous said...

RD, one must not believe everything one reads. Did you know that there is a bible called the codex which was written in the first 500 years AD? It was found in a monastery in the 1950's and part of it went to London for study with another part going to Russia. It has recently been pieced back together and is being interpreted into modern language and distributed over the internet. I don't have the info with me, but several of the last chapters of the book of Mark are not in it, including an account of the resurrectioin. I'll dig up the info on that. I've got to go.

Again, your interpretation of Matt. 23:13 is absurd.

Anonymous said...

To all....

I didnt want anyone to think I "buggged out" of our discussion...I have just been busy.

I have done alot of thinking about our discussion. Some of you have been cordial and presented good arguments from your various positions, conclusions and differnt World View than the Faith you once enbraced.

Others have been outright rude and hostile.

That is of course your right...since I am the Intruder here.

We could continue to banter back and forth with the same "arguments" and reasonings that most of you have already encountered and made an informed decsion on....as long as the webmaster allowed it.

But it was not my intention to generate strive...or anger. I see that I have done both.

I am a "40 something" year old man who still is convinced that the God of the Bible is real and can be known by His Creation. I however cannot convince you or anyone else of my beliefs, based on arguments, facts, conjectures or Bible quoting.

I hope that I have come across a little different than the normal "fundies" you encounter on this website. I do not agree that one must disregard reason and common sense to be a Christian.

I acknowledge that hypocrites, abuses, mis interpretations and silly arguments have resulted in things like church-splits, church fights...and believers even suing one another in Court.

It is a shame.

I also acknowledge that men like Constatine and Charlamange ( among others) committed atrocities in the name of christianity.
The Crusades were savage and brutal and unforgivable.

I re-main a christian because of my personal ongoing experience with Jesus Christ.
I left denominationalism 15 years ago.

I started a non-denominational Christian Church almost a decade ago with the Lords Help.
We feed the hungry, clothe the poor and support a few missions we are are able to help.

As I said...I receive no salary, and the most I was ever paid was during Bible College..when I served as an intern over the summer of 1982.
Eighty Dollars a Week and a 10x10 sleeping room.

I am not complaining...I just want you to know the facts. I actually enjoyed that summer tremendously and feel we accomplished a great deal.

Now 23 years later I see how the life-lessons I learned back then have become indispenable in counseling and helping others today.

I have experienced God restoring Marraiges...through ministry.

Helping troubled teens find their way.

Held the hands of countless elderly folks as they breathed their last breath on Earth.

All of this..( I know everything is relative) ONLY because of God Grace.
I take the credit for nothing. In the great Scheme of World History my life is so insignificant that it hardlt deserves mention...but for the Grace of God.

I was a nothing growing up

Poor...son of a factory worker.

If ever there was a case of God choosing the lowest and least deserving to do his bidding..I am but one of many examples.

Today I have a nice House, a great Wife, Church Family and 2 great Kids....plus many friends.

I owe it all to Him.

That statement is not the result of brainwashing...but of REAL LIFE....

I wish you well...I know God loves us the same..and I respect your decision to choose an alternate path.

RD

Jim Arvo said...

Hello RD,

I'm not going to argue with a thing you said. You seem like a decent person to me, and I have absolutely no quarrel with anything you choose to believe. To me, our exchanges were purely of a philosophical nature (of the type that I only indulge in certain circumstances--such as discussions/debates in a forum such as this).

I too was the son of a blue collar worker; we had a very modest house and life style. I was the first in my family (ever) to attend college, let alone graduate school. Today I own what my parents surely would have considered to be a palatial house, and I am a very proud father. I do not attribute any good fortune to a deity, but neither do I take all the credit for myself. I attribute my good fortune, in large measure, to the efforts of those before me who paved the way; e.g. by building the free and prosperous society in which we live, by providing financial aid toward my education, and by offering countless points of view for me to examine and learn from. As I have said many times here, I'm a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due. I think my fellow humans deserve most of the credit for my successes, and sheer luck gets nearly all the rest. If I had any reason to believe there was an invisible sentient being pulling strings, I'd have no qualms about thanking her either. But intellectual honesty is of the utmost importance to me, and nearly every subject I have studied in earnest points me to the conclusion that supernatural beings are a product of the human mind. As such, I reserve my gratitude for those who are real.

Best of luck to you, and thanks for the civil exchanges.

cdmon said...

RD,

You seemed to have missed the point of the exchange. You came here pounding your chest stating that YOU represent that which was missing from OUR xian faith.

You flat out stated that this site was "damaging." And that WE have no clue...

You've made statements which I have personally found offensive.

Also when you embellished on the scriptures and I straightened you on that.... You backpaddled and changed your tune, which I find typical.

Now you've come back posting that WE are rude and hostile.

Then try to sweeten the story by beating your chest over feeding the poor, clothing the hungry, counseling teens and sitting with the dying. With this "look at the great things I do" puffed up attitude.

I have to say that helping the needy is honorable, but it loses it charity and thanks when you start proclaiming your works to the world for your own glorification.

Charity is not necessarily an exclusive aspect of xianity. There are pagan groups who do the exact same things. There are secular groups who also do these things.

Charity needs to be done secretly, otherwise you've already received your brownie points from that pat on the back you've solicited by proclaiming it openly.

RD, I have asked you a question, which you have totally ignored. Since you made the blanket statement that WE have no clue about the life of jc, I have asked you to enlighten us as to exactly who Joseph's father was?
(Joseph, jc's alleged step daddy) That is a fair question isn't it?

Since you asserted that WE have NO clue, perhaps you should show us. So far you've been given a chance and have failed to show us anything we don't already know.

As far as our abrasiveness goes that is only due to the fact that you have negated our beliefs or non-beliefs. What? Are we not supposed to stand up for what we hold dear? Are you not here doing the same? And as I have explained to you before, we are not on you church website slamming your religion. But here YOU are...

As far as your apologies for what other xians have done, save it. Just be responsible for your own actions and statements.

If you were as respectful as a few other posters on this site who are believers, you might have found that we can be quite cordial.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Listen folks I would not be taken in too much with REAL DEAL's explanation there are also many many things that RD conveniently left out, like the perks that pastors receive, like a car and house furnished, with living expenses paid, tax free living, people bringing food, people donating gifts, people putting preachers on a pedestal, people worship, I would be willing to venture a wagger that good ole samaitan RD, conveniently left out a few details, preachers have this policy that to withhold imformation is like, what anyone does not know, it will not hurt them, LIKE THE REAL WHOLE TRUTH

RD may have helped the poor at some point in his life, but you can bet, good ole RD has helped himself to a truck load of goodies too.

Come back and tell me I'm wrong RD, try being truthful to us this time, RD if that is possible.

I know, you've said all you intend to say. I've personally known several preachers in my lifetime, and in every situtation when they get their hands caught in the cookie jar, they always run back to Jesus and hide in their religion, and Jesus will always bail you out, that was the sole purpose Jesus was invented to get pastors and priests out of trouble with the public. RD you're no different. Snakes in the grass.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

WM,

It's time RD got the boot!

freeman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
freeman said...

RD,
My mother asked why I do not take my children to church.
My reply was that I will raise them MY way, just as she had raised me HER way!

My father asked if he had wasted his hard earned money working 2 (sometimes 3) jobs to send us to private catholic schools?
My reply was that I received a first class education. I learned religions of the world (big mistake on the schools part), I learned the bible and the history of christianity. The school then had the nerve to tell me that I just had to believe. BULLSHIT!

My parents know that I do not believe in their mythology. I am not angry and bitter, certainly not toward my parents. However, I will not raise my children in this mythology of yours and my parents just because it is the dominate bullshit in our society. My children know enough to defend themselves from the dogma of unreality!

Anonymous said...

RD: "God has entrusted in my care."

Your personal god icon (which is different from every other persons' mentally constructed god you encounter) has nothing to do, with people seeking you for help. People come to you, because they have "faith" in you, and that you will take care of their needs.

Some just don't have as much "faith" in those who are uneducated and incapable of just being human - you appear to want to make yourself more than just a mere mortal and for your own purposes.

Someone who needs that much control, and with as you show, so much pride, is likely to not even blink if pushed to "sacrifice" a few sheep in the name of self-defined religious progress.

In short, I'd have much more confidence in a person, who doesn't claim to know everything but is willing to search for the best answer, even if resolving to eclectic information, as opposed to someone who uses the "god" tool to answer the tough questions in life. Read Deal, I think you are the real deal, you personify exactly what I would expect if I were to walk into a youth miniters' office and ask a question. Pointing to a piece of paper on the wall, does not make you wise, nor educated. However, you minister to those who believe you are both wise and educated. For your sake, you'd better hope they don't see you on this blog and connect the dots.

Anonymous said...

GeeWizz RD, Lets think about this a little bit, you said:

RD..."Perks"....lol! That's what YOU think being on call 24/7 to a congrgation that depends on you to be there when they are sick, hurting, hospitalized or in Jail?

Forget the glamorous life of the jet-setting Televangelists you hear about... Im one of the vast majority of pastors who do the day to day job of caring for the flock God has entrusted in my care.
You know Funerals, Weddings, Counseling, Marital Crisis...'perks' like that.
-----------------------------------
Do you really think that something that you might say to the sick and hurting, etc. is going to make one ioda of difference to anyone on this planet? I mean seriously RD, do you? Lets be real here.

And at a funeral, what in the name of Mickey Mouse are you going to say to anyone that will change a damn thing? Nothing

Who do you think took care of the sick Indians and Eskimos long before Colombus arrived? Who spoke those sacred words of wisdom and healing to the sick and inflicted. Where was the wonderful RD and the bible god?

If you think that something that you can conjer up from your weak mind and say something is going make a bit of difference in someones life or here-after, Baby I got a suprize shocker for you.

Real Deal, do you really honestly think, now think that you possess a power, a gift, a godly knowledge, a godly presence, above anyone else that is living today?

I'm so sure you do, and many others just like you, this is down right scary to think that another person carries a gift bestowed to them directly by an imaginary god.

And a slap in the face of my parents, YES for having falling for the foolishness of the man made religion and putting an imaginary god before everything that they stand for, including their own common sence and security.
I can tell you right now that someone could come to their door and profess to be a christian, and they woukd let them in, then they could come in and cut their throats, but it's was god's holy will, that he needed them to hold up a Star.

I also got tired of pretending that I Love Jesus, I do not love jesus, I do not love anything that pompas fool stood for either, im not even convinced a Jesus ever existed, he has no power, except to deceive and allow people to be killed in his stinking name.

I'd like to physically slap the common sense in them that they lost by turning over their complete mind over to a self-claimed, self-appointed, self-elected, preacher just like you RD, and reality in truth comes across as a threat and as hate to you and them, because it exposes you and your ilk.

What do you think a bunch of mumbo-jumbo words are going to do?

Listen my dear RD, why do you happen to think that the Bible came out of the Middle East? Think RD, Think !

Because of the Poppy Fields.... what was sooo special in the Middle East that happened 2000 years ago that God chose that region of all places in the entire 360' world? think RD

OPIUM OPIUM OPIUM there were millions of other peoples elsewhere on the planet, why did God choose opiumheads why why why?

I'm sorry RD to inform you, but you've been had, you have been the brunt of the biggest scam, hoax, joke, fraud, ever to have been pulled on the entire world.

Unfortunately RD you do not want to believe that you've been scammed, and worse yet you will continue to perpetrate and smear this joke and hoax to other unsuspecting and trusting fools just like you have been. I know that real truth hurts, Truth feels like hate, because it goes against your brainwashing beliefs, we've all here been there and done that.

We've all here pretended that we were on a mission from God just like you're doing RD.

You live in a make believe world Real Deal, and one day you'll come back here and apologise for being so self-centered and self-glorifing. It's all about you RD, not any god, it's what you can do for RD.

RD you're a word peddler, you peddle words, to those that want to hear, you are a false prophet of words. Clear your brain RD.

webmdave said...

Real Dork is dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Real Deal, I guess you would rather I smother my parents in the religious lies, like you do your victims eh?

I know that you've been scrubed, but you are one pathetic little boy that never grew up mentally and cannot get that religious mind virus out of your head and you personally do not want it out of your head. You enjoy the perks of being a religious phoney, thats the reason you have latched on to a religious title, to get praise from people. RD you're one sick little boy.

Anonymous said...

RD was hardly worth our time.

He admitted to seeing the disagreement within the church, does he realize that if it weren't for such disagreement among so many over such nonsense we might actually have peace on earth?

His interpretation of Matt. 23:13 could not possibly be, it contradicts itself. He suggested that Moses law was still in effect, and so by teaching said law the scribes and pharisees have "shut up the kingdom of heaven..." he then explains that the law of salvation by grace had not been established by Christ saying "it is finished..." while on the cross. If the way into heaven had not yet been established, then how would the scribes and pharisees "shut up" the kingdom? RD is also suggesting that Moses law is invalid during its own time! There would be no way into heaven whatsoever prior to Christs death on the cross, according to christian doctrine. Nobody could "shut up the kingdom of heaven..." Why would Christ say this? The next sentence showing heaven to be in the present "For ye neither go in..." is connected to the previous sentence (..."ye have shut up the kingdom of heaven against men.") by the word "For," thus showing that Christ is referring to entry into heaven in the present tense.

If RD can't handle that one, I wonder how he'd fare against the dozens or perhaps hundreds of others that I could find...

Anonymous said...

The other night at work I saw two christians arguing over interpretation of scripture...

Anonymous said...

slingshot wrote:

" The other night at work I saw two christians arguing over interpretation of scripture..."

Oh you are so right slingshot! If the Pat Robertson Christian ever have their way and get rid of all of us atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Wicca’s etc. They will all turn on each other for sure.

It is so funny to watch the neo-Christians attack each other. Catholics hate Protestants, Mormons of course, like the JW's are a cult, charismatic (tongue speakers) are possessed by Satan .... blah blah blah. It never ends.

I wonder why most thinking people disavow Christianity? (snicker)

Onanite

Anonymous said...

You know what? I AM hurting. Hurting becaue of you Christians. Your hypocrisy makes me sick. I want to find true Christianity. But then again, if i interpret Chrtianity in my own way, i will not be considered a true Christian. Christians only consider other people Christians when they share the same beliefs. So what is... the real gospel?

Anonymous said...

Pat Robertson can't keep his foot out of his mouth. I wonder what he'll say next? I can hardly wait...

Anonymous said...

Yeah... Pat Robertson lol.

Anonymous said...

If you jump off a building and say i can fly! You will for a brief moment. But you will have to face the consequences of the law of gravity. You can go through life saying "There is no God, i am accountable to no1, and i will do as i please yay!!!", But you will have to face the consequences of Gods Moral Law.

Math 5:28 "But so to you, whosever looks upon to lust has committed adultery her within his heart".

God has set aside a day where he will judge every action and every idle word of every man. God is not only as moral or good as your standards, He is perfect. We are all sinners (Liars, adulters of heart, if you hate some1 you are considered a murderer, no matter what the value of anything u have taken that does not belong to you, that makes u a thief, Have you always put God first, Have you ever blasphemed, Covet something? Respect your parents, keep the Sabbath holy? ), you have broken God's moral law, and on the day of judgement you will be found guilty. Your sentence is eternity in hell where the smoke from your torment will rise forever. You will wish to die but you wont.

Jesus spoke more about Hell than anything else. He came to warn us from the wrath that is to come. He took the punishment you deserved on the cross. Some1 else paid your fine, and the judge will now let you go free, if you repent turn from your sin, and follow Him.
Choose this day who you will serve, the God that gave you life, or your own pleasure.

All of God's judgements are righteous. If a judge lets a rapist go free, he would be an evil judge.
God does not want you to go to Hell. He gave you His EVERYTHING, His only Son. Who was bruised for what you did, what more do you want? If you follow him, He will call you his son/daughter, give you a crown of life, congratulate you when your trials are over, has prepared a place for you in heaven, and reign with the Almighty God who has no obligation to give us any attention what soever. Anyone who things God is a hateful vengeful God knows NOTHING about the cross.

God Is.
If you dont belief the bible, read Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53 and tell me how so many details of Jesus coming where written hundreds of yrs before He even came, right down to the soldiers gambling for his clothes.
There where over 200 prophecies of Jesus's coming in the old testament (which all came true), and over 300 in the new testament of Hell. You are staring eternity in the face.

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